Who Governs?
Who Governs?

Who Governs?

Emergency Powers in the Time of COVID



314 Pages, 6 x 9

Formats: Paperback, ebook: PDF, ebook: EPUB

Paperback, $29.95 (US $29.95) (CA $39.95)

Publication Date: February 2023

ISBN 9780817925253


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In a democracy, a government's authority derives from the consent of the governed. When emergencies hit—such as the COVID-19 health crisis—how are authorities, both elected and unelected, empowered to act? Experts in political science, democratic governance, and jurisprudence examine the wave of executive orders that followed the onset of this pandemic in 2020, as well as the legal and public responses to them, to consider what is right, lawful, and just.


"Who governs the US in an emergency, and with what limits and authority? This fascinating study shows the answer is not simple. . . . A pathbreaking guide to what likely will be a recurrent problem in American politics." —Jack Goldstone, Hazel Professor of Public Policy, George Mason University


"Describing the crazy quilt of state and local emergency powers, their problematic definitions, and the questions of accountability and representation, Who Governs convincingly makes the case for rethinking how and when we employ emergency powers." —Henry E. Brady, Professor of Political Science and Public Policy, University of California–Berkeley


"Officials have invoked extraordinary emergency powers that most of us did not know they even had, at the cost of democratic accountability. . . . Will government by emergency decree become the new normal?" —Michael W. McConnell, Richard & Frances Mallery Professor, Stanford Law School, and director, Stanford Constitutional Law Center

Author Biography

Morris P. Fiorina is the Wendt Family Professor of Political Science at Stanford University and a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution. His most recent book was Unstable Majorities (Hoover Institution Press, 2017).