Pestis: The collective challenges of epidemics

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Currently, COVID-19 is perceived as an epidemic, a new «plague», referring to the matrix metaphor of the pestis expressed in the series contagion – death – fear – isolation. This article aims to understand the multiple collective challenges posed by plague epidemics. The analysis of these challenges may contribute to the reflection on several dimensions that shape the COVID-19 pandemic threat. Individuals interpret the different pasts aiming to solve the problems they face in the present. The collective challenges that the political and medical «management» of the plague place are shaped by circumstantial coalitions of diverse interests, enabling the recognition, demarcation, and legitimisation of actions regarding its public management and control, materialised in concrete health policies, such as the development of several specific devices (isolation, health cordons, lazarettos, quarantine), thus intervening in the configuration of «collective management» of epidemics.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalAcademic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2021


  • Contagion
  • Epidemic
  • Pestis
  • Collective management» of plagues


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