How liberal governments manage knowledge, ignorance, prediction and uncertainty has attracted increased attention across the social sciences. In this paper, we analyse the strategy and rhetoric of the UK government during the COVID-19 pandemic, with particular attention to the first half of 2020. We see the initial UK policy response – as well as its later legitimation – as a form of ‘politics of impossibility’, effecting political change through claims of incapacity or impotence. We argue this approach departs from the uses of knowledge and ignorance in both classical liberalism and neoliberalism, and suggests the emergence of a new, hybrid form of governance which can be dubbed liberal fatalism. We discuss the relevance of this new form of governance for political futures of an increasingly volatile world.

Full Text
Published version (Free)

Talk to us

Join us for a 30 min session where you can share your feedback and ask us any queries you have

Schedule a call