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Spain's response to COVID-19: regionalism, decentralization and coordination

Grant number: 20/15011-1
Support Opportunities:Scholarships abroad - Research Internship - Master's degree
Effective date (Start): February 28, 2021
Effective date (End): July 31, 2021
Field of knowledge:Applied Social Sciences - Administration - Public Administration
Principal Investigator:Elize Massard da Fonseca
Grantee:Luísa Bolaffi Arantes
Supervisor: Jacint Jordana
Host Institution: Escola de Administração de Empresas de São Paulo (EAESP). Fundação Getúlio Vargas (FGV). São Paulo , SP, Brazil
Research place: Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Spain  
Associated to the scholarship:19/25141-2 - Health policy and hepatites C response in comparative perspective, BP.MS


The COVID-19 pandemic is a great challenge for global public health, and it is testing health systems, evidencing, however, that state capacity is not enough to explain the countries performance in fighting disease. It is also necessary to analyze the "political capacity" to respond to epidemics. We are moving towards a consensus that the role of central governments and intergovernmental coordination are important in the fight against the epidemic that does not respect geographic borders. However, it is not yet clear how each country decides and operates centralization or decentralization and intergovernmental coordination. This research project aims to analyze the case of Spain, which initially chose to centralize its response to COVID-19. The Spanish context is not conducive to centralizing measures, due to regional conflicts, partisan disputes, and its highly decentralized National Health System. Assuming that the sequence of events is fundamental to explain social phenomena, this research aims to identify how coalitions of support and opposition to centralizing measures were built to respond to COVID-19 in this unfavorable context. This project aims to contribute to the growing body of studies whose aim is to understand how political institutions influence the response to epidemics and, in particular, COVID-19. (AU)

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