Compliance behavior and norm enforcement during the COVID-19 pandemic – Comparative analysis of five European countries
Pál Susánszky, Zsolt Boda, Eszter Farkas (Institute for Political Science, Hungarian Academy of Sciences Centre of Excellence)
In order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, citizens have been cooperating with state institutions and adjusting to government measurements for over a year now. However, the compliance with these measurements can be controlled not only by the state, but citizens can also enforce these rules among themselves as well. This on one hand would support the general level of compliance, moreover, the explicit disapproval of not keeping these measurements could facilitate the consolidation of COVID-19 related norms and behaviors. In this analysis we measure the level of compliance and disapprove with rules and measurements in five European countries during the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, and examine which factors explain these most effectively. Besides socio-demographic characteristics, we put a significant emphasis on politics related variables, most importantly on populist attitudes, and measure compliance and disapprove in light of people-centrism, anti-elitism and outgroup hostility as well. While the number of studies on COVID-19 related rules compliance is getting very extensive, we have not found any works that would deal with the effects of citizens’ disapproval in this regard. Therefore, our analysis could mean a remarkable contribution to understand current phenomena in this field.