Covid-19: How Pandemics Give Birth to Revolutions & Dictatorships
Play • 21 min
It’s now clear that the Covid-19 pandemic is going to have effects that we’ll be dealing with for quite some time afterwards - not just in terms of public health, but also economically and perhaps also politically.

We wanted to know: what does history say about the likely political fallout of this kind of health emergency? Can pandemics foment revolutions, or birth dictatorships?

In this episode, Rebecca speaks to Yale Professor Frank Snowden, who has studied the effects of pandemics throughout history: from the medieval plague to more contemporary diseases like malaria.

Don’t Shoot the Messenger is produced by Haji Mohamed Dawjee and presented by Rebecca Davis with sound engineering and editing by Tevya Shapiro, original music by Bernard Kotze and additional support by Kathryn Kotze.

Additional credits:
Featuring audio from Voices of the First World War (
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