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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Dimitris Skleparis
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).
Support for social distancing measures was, globally, high at the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic but increasingly came under pressure. Focusing on the UK, this article provides a rigorous and holistic exploration of the drivers of public support for social distancing at their formative stage, via mixed-methods. Synthesising insights from crisis management and securitisation theory, thematic analysis is employed to map the main frames promoted by the government and other actors on the nature/severity, blame/responsibility and appropriate response to the pandemic. The impact of these on public attitudes is examined via a series of regression analyses, drawing on a representative survey of the UK population (n = 2,100). Findings challenge the prevailing understanding that support for measures is driven by personal health considerations, socio-economic circumstances and political influences. Instead, framing dynamics, which the government is best positioned to dominate, have the greatest impact on driving public attitudes.
Author(s): Karyotis G, Connolly J, Collignon S, Makropoulos I, Judge A, Rudig W, Skleparis D
Publication type: Article
Publication status: In Press
Journal: European Political Science Review
Acceptance date: 03/06/2021
Date deposited: 24/06/2021
ISSN (print): 1755-7739
ISSN (electronic): 1755-7747
Publisher: Cambridge University Press