28 Apr, 2021 15:30 am

The 'Stomp Reflex': When governments abuse emergency powers

The 'Stomp Reflex': When governments abuse emergency powers
History shows that during times of crisis, politicians tend to reach for more power. It's happening again now, argues researcher Luke Kemp.

Legally, emergency powers vary by country.If left unchecked, these emergency powers are prone to abuse, and what started as an exception can frequently become the norm.Read more: The greatest security threat of the post-truth age How to heal the mass trauma of Covid-19 The knowns and unknowns of Covid-19 The Roman dictator was one of the earliest and most famous examples of state-sanctioned emergency powers.Rome appointed dictators, and for a few hundred years, it worked (Credit: Getty Images) Emergency powers have come a long way since Rome.

These are just states of emergency, and the actual provision and use of emergency powers is even broader.Instead, presidents can activate "national emergencies" to gain access to a range of 136 statutory emergency powers.

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