Norway: A Pragmatic, Collaborative, and Legitimate Response
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Original versionIn: Lynggaard, K., Jensen, M.D., Kluth, M. (eds), Governments' Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic in Europe, 295–306. 10.1007/978-3-031-14145-4_25
Norway has performed well in handling the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping both infections and deaths lower than in most other countries at the same time as it avoided the most intrusive regulatory measures. The government’s management of the COVID-19 pandemic played out in a context of low politicization illustrated by absent of mass polarization, a cooperative society and a cooperative political elite. The policy measures were informed by a suppression strategy based on the precautionary principle of giving first priority to life and health issues, and adaptive collaborative and pragmatic approach as the pandemic developed. Adding to this, a lot of resources, generous economic compensation packages, a big welfare state, a professional bureaucracy and hospital system, a trustworthy crisis communication with the public and a high level of citizens’ trust in government all contributed to the well-performing Norwegian crisis management. This illustrates that both governance capacity and governance legitimacy as well as leadership matter for a well-performing crisis management.
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