COVID-19: How does the Estonian government stimulate and use the idea of social responsibility?
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In light of recent events regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, social responsibility has become a relevant topic in political discussions. This thesis examines the ways in which states can use their citizens’ sense of social responsibility while handling the COVID-19 crisis, using the example of Estonia. The research describes the implemented measures, recommendations that were given and the respective reaction of institutions during the first wave of coronavirus by conducting a discourse analysis. The findings indicate the importance of cooperation between the state and the people. The government stimulates cooperation by promoting responsibility through raising awareness, public announcements addressing the nation and social campaigns. In response to that, institutions and people make responsible choices and behave accordingly. However, it is up to institutions to define what constitutes responsible choices. As a result, public debate finds that the line between reasonable and unjustified measures remains unclear and this uncertainty is reflected in the strategies of institutions. Responsibilization of citizens is a major part of the strategy developed by the Estonian government which makes overcoming the pandemic possible.
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