Executives during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Contradictory Trends

This paper explores how the management of the pandemic crisis has affected the internal working of the executives in selected jurisdictions. In doing so, I will first focus on the internal structure of the cabinet and the balance between prime ministerial leadership, collegiality, and each minister's competence. In fact, the peculiar challenges raised by the Covid-19 pandemic have led to significant developments, including the emergence of “Covid cabinets” (e.g. in Germany), an increased role for already-existing interministerial committees (e.g. in France and Belgium), or increased responsibilities for the head of government (e.g. in Italy). A secondary topic is the interaction between expert committees and the proper balance during the acute stage(s) of the pandemic crisis. My aim is to highlight the significant adaptability of the executive and the existence of contradictory trends, pointing both at stronger individual leaderships and experimentation with new forms of collegiality.