Introducing the Southern Grouping

Michael Friederich Kluth*, Mads Dagnis Jensen, Kennet Lynggaard

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Italy became Europe’s initial Covid-19 epicentre in early 2020. Alarming footage suggested that modestly endowed public hospital systems in financially stressed countries with fairly volatile political institutions could transform a worrying health crisis into a disaster. While the Southern grouping, which also comprise Spain, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Malta, have more elaborate welfare systems than in Eastern Europe, they trail most Western European states in their capacity for redistribution and delivery of universal health services. Historically their democratic institutions have exhibited some weaknesses and several of the countries have been trapped in a prolonged growth crisis. Yet when examining their policy responses, patterns of governance and dynamics of politicization during the pandemic, significant diversity can be observed but, in most instances, domestic political systems have survived the crisis without lasting damages and high vaccination rates suggest public distrust in authorities is less severe than feared.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationGovernments' Responses to the Covid-19 Pandemic in Europe : Navigating the Perfect Storm
EditorsKennet Lynggaard, Mads Dagnis Jensen, Michael Kluth
Number of pages7
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan
Publication date2023
ISBN (Print)9783031141447
ISBN (Electronic)9783031141454
Publication statusPublished - 2023

Bibliographical note

Published online: 02 December 2022.


  • Covid-19 pandemic
  • Government responses
  • Comparative politics
  • European studies
  • Crisis management

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