Expressions of governance, risk, and responsibility: Public campaigns in the crisis and risk management of Covid-19 in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden
Chapter, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonIn: B. Johansson, Ø. Ihlen, J. Lindholm, & M. Blach-Ørsten (eds.), Communicating a pandemic: Crisis management and Covid-19 in the Nordic countries, 121–147. https://doi.org/10.48335/9789188855688-6
During the Covid-19 pandemic, public campaigns were an important part of the Scandinavian health authorities’ strategies to combat the spread of the virus. Denmark, Norway, and Sweden had different strategies to manage the crisis: Denmark had the most political crisis management, Sweden the most informational, and Norway was placed somewhere in between. This chapter examines how public risk and crisis communication during a pandemic was handled in these campaigns in the Scandinavian countries, how they function as a governance technology, and how this was carried out rhetorically. We show how indirect, governmental steering dominated the campaign rhetoric in Scandinavia, through a focus on the culturally decided aspects of purity and danger, and through appeal to a sense of personal responsibility and willingness to avoid taking risks among the citizenry. Furthermore, we find that the campaigns are representative for the crisis management strategy in each country.