Reshaping relations between the state and the private sector post-COVID-19?

Grant number: COV19\200056

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Key facts

  • Disease

  • Known Financial Commitments (USD)

  • Funder

    British Academy
  • Principle Investigator

  • Research Location

    United Kingdom, Europe
  • Lead Research Institution

    Reading Centre for Cognition Research, University of Reading, UK, Department of Philosophy
  • Research Category

    Secondary impacts of disease, response & control measures

  • Research Subcategory

    Economic impacts

  • Special Interest Tags


  • Study Subject


  • Clinical Trial Details


  • Broad Policy Alignment


  • Age Group

    Not Applicable

  • Vulnerable Population

    Not applicable

  • Occupations of Interest

    Not applicable


Measures adopted to slow the spread of COVID-19 have inflicted deep and precipitous damage on the global economy. Governments across the world have had to massively increase their borrowing to try to mitigate this unprecedented financial shock, hoping to prop up viable but illiquid firms for the duration of the lockdown and to see a swift re-starting of private sector activity once restrictions are lifted. This unprecedented reshaping of the relationship between the private sector and the state, with governments stepping in as buyer and lender of last resort, means new oversight mechanisms are urgently needed. Society needs mechanisms via which it can assess and, if necessary, redress, moves by firms which have taken state aid. This project will explore the feasibility of adopting a 'social licence framework', based on the Enlightenment thesis of 'doux commerce' and social contract theory, and make recommendations for regulatory changes.