Understanding Socio-economic Resilience in the Context of Covid-19: Examining People and Community Responses to the Latest Capitalist Crisis

The Covid-19 pandemic has provided the latest crisis for the global capitalist economy, following on twelve years from the financial crash of 2007/2008. Unlike responses to the financial crisis, in many countries Covid-19 provoked new, socially progressive interventions from the state, including income-replacement schemes and related supports in the private sphere (e.g. mortgage payment freezes, loans) to offset the effects of lockdowns and workplace closures. In this sense, governance responses to Covid-19 included radical regulatory responses which underline the need for capital and the state to foster reciprocities between (linked) spheres of production and consumption to alleviate crisis conditions (see Jonas 1996). Having observed this, the prospect of new, long-term economic development and labour market governance approaches remains unclear.

The special session explores development pathways in the context of the Covid-19 public health crisis, focusing on the socioeconomic resilience of different places. Drawing on different geographic concepts (in particular space, scale, place, relationality), contributions will examine how different places were unevenly affected by the pandemic, casting light on distinct socio-spatial inequalities, hardships and opportunities linked to the crisis. A key purpose of the session is to better understand different forms of resilience and resourcefulness driven by people and communities in response to pandemic/post-pandemic life conditions and in interaction with governance responses to Covid-19. To this end, it is envisioned that different geographic frameworks will be utilised for examining the pandemic and responses to this, including (but not limited to) regulation school thinking, which lends itself to a focus on new governance approaches in the interests of labour market/community stability following the crisis. The session is particularly interested in examining new ways and means through which governance approaches to ‘building back better’ may be realised at different scales (or indeed whether such concepts have already been co-opted). We call more generally for case studies which explore how people and communities engaged conditions caused by the crisis, encouraging contributions which shed light on future development pathways emergent following the Covid-19 pandemic.

We view the session drawing on/feeding in to the following themes: