Collective Resilience in Times of Crisis: Lessons From the Literature for Socially Effective Responses to the Pandemic

Br J Soc Psychol. 2020 Jun 25;e12403. doi: 10.1111/bjso.12403. Online ahead of print.


Most countries worldwide have taken restrictive measures and called on their population to adopt social distancing behaviours to contain the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic. At a time when several European countries are releasing their lockdown measures, new uncertainties arise regarding the further evolution of a crisis becoming multifaceted, as well as the durability of public determination to face and contain it. In this context, the sustained social efficacy of public health measures will depend more than ever on the level of acceptance across populations called on to temporarily sacrifice daily freedoms, while economic insecurity grows and social inequalities become more blatant. We seek to develop a framework for analysing how the requirements of 'social distancing' can be reconciled with the conditions that allow for the maintaining, or even strengthening, of social cohesion, mutual solidarity, and a sense of collective efficacy, throughout the crisis. To reach this goal, we propose a summary of relevant findings and pragmatic policy principles derived from them.

Keywords: collective resilience; effective mobilization; emergent solidarity; health behaviour; pandemic; public action; social crisis.