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COVID-19 Crisis Management and the Portuguese Regional Governance: Citizens Perceptions as Evidence

Governance
Representation
Quantitative
Pedro Correia
CAPP, ISCSP, ULisboa
Pedro Correia
CAPP, ISCSP, ULisboa
Ireneu Oliveira Mendes
Institute of Social and Political Sciences - University of Lisbon
Sandra Patrícia Marques Pereira
Institute of Social and Political Sciences - University of Lisbon
Inês Subtil
Institute of Social and Political Sciences - University of Lisbon
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Abstract

The worldwide crisis caused by the new coronavirus disease highlighted a new reality: governments were unprepared for the COVID-19 and the accelerated spread of the virus unleashed dramatic social and economic consequences. The crisis management that followed resulted in distinctive solutions by the central and regional authorities, often leading to unarticulated responses within the same country. By comparing the Portuguese first and third COVID-19 waves, this study aims to evaluate the Portuguese citizens’ perceptions on pre-COVID-19 measures, government response during COVID-19 and expectations on the impact of COVID-19 on society. The analyse considers the differences in perceptions of citizens from different Portuguese Regions, based on the administrative Nomenclature of Territorial Units for Statistics level II (NUTS II), namely, North, Centre, Lisbon, Alentejo, Algarve, Azores Autonomous Region and Madeira Autonomous Region. A quantitative approach is used, and the data was collected through questionnaires applied online. To distinct moments of data collection took place: between April 23rd and April 30th, 2020 and between January 25th and February 1st, 2021. Based on the theoretical Wave Model and using the crisis management COVID-19 structural equation model (Correia et. al, 2020) for the different Portuguese NUTS II regions, an illustrative comparison between different governance outcomes is presented. Theoretically this research aims to contribute to the literature of multi-level governance as well as to the literature on collaboration in local governance, namely, the pluralistic interactions at multiple institutional levels. Empirically, this study aims to identify inconsistencies in Portuguese citizens’ perceptions on crisis management in order to enable future research to address the topic of public management coordination in multiple levels of governance.