This paper analyses the form that government accountability takes during a crisis. Based on 52 press conferences, declarations, and speeches made by Italian central government officials in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the paper shows that accountability was enacted, in practice, through Goffmanian performances, in three separate ways. First, performances aimed at defining the crisis, first as a situation under control, and later as an emergency. Second, performances served to allocate responsibility for ending the crisis, first to the government and then to the citizenry. Finally, performances allowed to establish a hierarchy of the values that would justify the crisis response policies – preserving access to healthcare as opposed to safeguarding other economic, individual and social interests. Variations in the elements of performances gave rise to three shifting configurations of accountability – paternalistic, political, and communal - that followed the evolution of the crisis. Collectively, the findings deepen our understanding of the role that accountability has in the justification of the crisis response policies.

Performing accountability during a crisis: insights from the Italian government’s response to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic / Claudio Columbano, Daniela Pianezzi, Ileana Steccolini. - In: ABACUS. - ISSN 0001-3072. - STAMPA. - -:-(In stampa/Attività in corso), pp. ---.

Performing accountability during a crisis: insights from the Italian government’s response to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic

Ileana Steccolini
In corso di stampa

Abstract

This paper analyses the form that government accountability takes during a crisis. Based on 52 press conferences, declarations, and speeches made by Italian central government officials in the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, the paper shows that accountability was enacted, in practice, through Goffmanian performances, in three separate ways. First, performances aimed at defining the crisis, first as a situation under control, and later as an emergency. Second, performances served to allocate responsibility for ending the crisis, first to the government and then to the citizenry. Finally, performances allowed to establish a hierarchy of the values that would justify the crisis response policies – preserving access to healthcare as opposed to safeguarding other economic, individual and social interests. Variations in the elements of performances gave rise to three shifting configurations of accountability – paternalistic, political, and communal - that followed the evolution of the crisis. Collectively, the findings deepen our understanding of the role that accountability has in the justification of the crisis response policies.
In corso di stampa
Performing accountability during a crisis: insights from the Italian government’s response to the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic / Claudio Columbano, Daniela Pianezzi, Ileana Steccolini. - In: ABACUS. - ISSN 0001-3072. - STAMPA. - -:-(In stampa/Attività in corso), pp. ---.
Claudio Columbano, Daniela Pianezzi, Ileana Steccolini
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/966647
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