Coping with COVID and the Myth of a Collective China


  • Bart DESSEIN Ghent University, Belgium



neoliberalism, second modernity, social action, globalization, locality


Reflecting on the development of the global economic system, the present article describes the phenomenon of hyper-individualism in the age of “second modernity” and, making a distinction between the “family collective” and the “patriotic collective”, discusses the individual’s oscillating loyalty between the family and the nation state in this process. An answer is sought to the question why, in the contemporary period, individuals who are confronted with a (health) crisis appear to have lost confidence in the authority of the nation state, regardless of whether they live in a country with a democratic government or one with an authoritarian regime. Building on this finding, the article also addresses the importance of a revival of the political agora.






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How to Cite

Dessein, B. (2022). Coping with COVID and the Myth of a Collective China. Asian Studies, 10(1), 97–119.