> Skip to content
  • Published: 12 April 2022
  • ISBN: 9781913380120
  • Imprint: MIT Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $44.99

Unprecedented?

How COVID-19 Exposed the Politics of Our Economy



A critical and evidence-based account of the COVID-19 pandemic as a political–economic rupture, exposing underlying power struggles and social injustices.

Unprecedented? tells the story of the COVID-19 pandemic as one of political–economic rupture, where the basic fabric of economic and political rules was torn up and underlying power struggles and social injustices were exposed. Focusing on the case of Britain, but with lessons for all countries, this book offers a critical and evidence-based account of unprecedented events.

In early 2020, many of the most basic building blocks of capitalism were transformed in a matter of weeks, thanks to the novel coronavirus. Workplaces and schools were closed, governments took on unprecedented debt, and new technologies had to be rapidly procured and rolled out in an effort to achieve control over the pandemic. Meanwhile, lurking inequalities—of class, race, gender, and geography—were deepened and exposed in new ways, and populations became dependent on murky alliances between states and corporate contractors. Exceptional profits were reaped by some, while large sections of society teetered on the edge of destitution and despair.

  • Published: 12 April 2022
  • ISBN: 9781913380120
  • Imprint: MIT Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 224
  • RRP: $44.99

About the authors

William Davies

William Davies is a political economist and sociologist who teaches at Goldsmiths, University of London. His work explores the history of ideas, especially the history of economics, and how this helps us understand the present. His writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, Guardian, Atlantic, New York Times, Washington Post and New Left Review. He is the author of The Happiness Industry: How the government & big business sold us wellbeing (Verso, 2015) and The Limits of Neoliberalism: Authority, Sovereignty and the Logic of Competition (Sage, 2014; reissued with a new introduction in 2016).

Related titles