Emerging Europe's Chronic Distrust: lessons from the region's COVID-19 puzzle

Hosted by Corvinus University of Budapest, the LSE School of Public Policy, and the LSE European Institute.

Online and in-person public event (LSE Lecture Theatre, Centre Building)


Christopher Dann

Christopher Dann

PhD student, Stanford University

Joan Costa-i-Font

Joan Costa-i-Font

Professor of Health Economics, Department of Health Policy

Piroska Nagy Mohácsi

Piroska Nagy Mohácsi

Visiting Professor in Practice, Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa

Előd Takáts

Előd Takáts

Visiting Professor in Practice, School of Public Policy


Andrés Velasco

Andrés Velasco

Dean, School of Public Policy

Join us for the launch of the new edited volume Emerging Europe's chronic distrust: Lessons from the region's COVID puzzle, a compendium that has emerged from a joint workshop with researchers from Corvinus University, Budapest, and LSE and investigates the pandemic in central and eastern Europe.

Central and eastern Europe are known to have a notorious trust deficit in government institutions. This stems from a historical legacy of devestation in World War II – a series of events which prompted historian Timothy Snyder to call this region the “Bloodlands”. Here, the fabric of society was torn asunder by, in turn, communist terror, the Holodomor, Nazi mass murder, and the Holocaust. After the war, systemic efforts to destroy what remained of civil society behind the Iron Curtain atomised societies and deepened distrust in government and between individuals.

Social forces rooted in history played a pivotal role in COVID-19 responses. However, the lessons identified from these responses are not only relevant for this specific epidemic. We need to better understand the root causes of the region’s “trust deficit” and develop strategies to reduce it.

More about our speakers and chair

Christopher Dann (@chris_m_dann) is a PhD student at Stanford University in the Political Science department. Before that he was a Pre-Doctoral Fellow at the London School of Economics’ (LSE) Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines (STICERD), working for Professor Sir Tim Besley.

Joan Costa-i-Font (@JoanCostaiFont) is a Professor of Health Economics,  the team leader of the Ageing and Health Incentives Lab (AHIL), and a faculty associate of the International Inequalities Institute. He is network research fellow at CESifo (since 2008), HEDG (since 2007) and IZA (since 2017). Joan’s draws on insights of health, behaviour and political economics to study ‘ageing and health disadvantage’.

Piroska Nagy Mohácsi (@NagyMohacsi) is a Visiting Professor in Practice at the LSE Firoz Lalji Institute for Africa and Academic Partner of Macroeconomic Advisory Group, New York. Prior to LSE, Piroska was Director for Policy at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) (2008-2015), and worked in senior positions in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) (1986- 2008).

Előd Takáts is a Visiting Professor in Practice at the LSE School of Public Policy. He is Professor of Finance and serves as the Rector of Corvinus University of Budapest. He has previously served as the Chief Economist at the Bank for International Settlements, and as a researcher at the Hungarian National Bank, the European Central Bank and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Andrés Velasco (@AndresVelasco) is Professor of Public Policy and Dean of the School of Public Policy at LSE. He was previously the Minister of Finance of Chile between March 2006 and March 2010 and during his tenure he was recognized as Latin American Finance Minister of the Year by several international publications.

More about this event

The LSE School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) equips you with the skills and ideas to transform people and societies. It is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Their approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.

The European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe.

This edited volume is available online as open access.

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