Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just Future

This Social Market Foundation panel event, chaired by Jesse Norman MP, launched Political Philosophy in the Pandemic – a new book from SMF’s Chief Economist Aveek Bhattacharya, discussing how the pandemic has affected our politics.

Following the last year and a half of national lockdowns, school closures, widespread unemployment, health and wealth inequality, Political Philosophy in a Pandemic asks us, where do we go from here? What are the ethics of our response to a significantly changed and increasingly unequal society, and how do we seize the moment in order to make lasting change?

Exploring the pandemic in five key parts, the edited collection of essays examines how COVID-19 has affected a range of things we value including social welfare, equality, justice, democracy and progress. At the event, three of the books’ authors and its co-editor, SMF’s Dr Aveek Bhattacharya explored the relationship between crisis and opportunity and outline routes to a more just world following the pandemic.

This lively debate, chaired by Jesse Norman MP, discussed how the pandemic has impacted politics, and what lessons we need to learn going forward.


  • Jesse Norman MP, Author of Adam Smith: What he Thought, and Why it Matters and other books


  • Dr Aveek Bhattacharya, Chief Economist, Social Market Foundation and co-editor of Political Philosophy in a Pandemic: Routes to a More Just Future
  • Dr Jeffrey Howard, Associate Professor, UCL and author of ‘Coronavirus Misinformation, Social Media and Freedom of Speech’
  • Rebecca Lowe, PhD Candidate, King’s College London and author of ‘What is the Democratic State’s Obligation of Transparency in Times of Crisis?’
  • Dr Katy Wells, Assistant Professor, University of Warwick and co-author of ‘Adequate Housing in a Pandemic’
  • Professor Adam Swift, Professor of Political Theory/Political Philosophy, UCL and author of ‘Pandemic as Political Theory’

This event was also livestreamed on the SMF YouTube channel.