How useful is the concept of polycrisis? Lessons from the development of the Canada Emergency Response Benefit during the COVID-19 pandemic


The authors examine domestic policymaking processes amidst polycrisis by tracing the Canadian government’s development of its Canada Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) during the Covid-19 pandemic. They argue that the process embodied three key best practices for national-level policy design in a crisis—policy integration, learning, and agility—and show how these elements evade capture by the polycrisis concept, thereby limiting its usefulness.


Shannon Dinan, Daniel Béland, and Michael Howlett

Publication Date

13 February 2024


Policy Design and Practice



Resource Type

Academic Journal Article

Systems Addressed

Economy • Health

Resource Theme

Policy and Practice

Uses the term polycrisis

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