Can the Democracy Survive an Epidemic?

Anna Darling Calender & Stine Marx Hansen

Student thesis: Master thesis


The following thesis is a critical analysis of the Danish government's use of power and control during the corona crisis in Denmark with a special focus on how fear plays a significant part in managing the population. The thesis’ methodology draws on Michel Foucault's understanding of problematization, as a way to examine the coronavirus in another context than originally placed in, which reveals how the perception of corona is not a universal truth, but instead created by power relations. Additionally, the Foucauldian term dispositif is used to reveal a pattern in the way the danish government uses fear in order to control citizens, which results in the analysis uncovering the existence of a dispositif of fear. Lastly, the thesis sets out to discuss how the dispositif of fear actively seeks to restrict possibilities of resistance towards the government's use of fear as a way to legitimize extensive regulation of citizens' lives. Based on this, the thesis concludes that the dispositif of fear, and the way that it points out coronavirus as a major problem, legitimizes the Danish government's limitation on citizens self-realization and forces individuals to personally accept coresponsibility of controlling the coronavirus, all done through fearful management.

EducationsMSocSc in Political Communication and Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2021
Number of pages114