Public governance, agility and pandemics: a case study of the UK response to COVID-19

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Paul Joyce

Colleges, School and Institutes


The UK government’s leaders initially believed that it was among the best-prepared governments for a pandemic. By June 2020, the outcome of the collision between the government’s initial confidence, on the one hand, and the aggressiveness and virulence of COVID-19, on the other, was evident. The UK had one of the worst COVID-19 mortality rates in the world. This article explores the UK government’s response to COVID-19 from a public administration and governance perspective. Using factual information and statistical data, it considers the government’s preparedness and strategic decisions, the delivery of the government response, and public confidence in the government.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)002085232098340
JournalInternational Review of Administrative Sciences
Early online date14 Jan 2021
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Jan 2021


  • decision-making, good governance, multi-level government, performance, public administration, public management, strategy