Management of the COVID-19 Pandemic Crisis at the Local Level: The Case of Szczecin
Purpose: The aim of this paper is to describe the case of pandemic crisis management on the basis of an analysis of plans and actions of the local government of the city of Szczecin during the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. The analysis was supplemented by a description of the context of functioning of the city in the political, social and economic dimension. Design/Methodology/Approach: The study extends across disciplines and has a basis typical to social sciences, mainly to disciplines such as management and political and administrative science. It is a case study investigation. It involves an analysis of documents, part of which were internal, supplemented by expert interviews. Findings: Local authorities have played a significant role in efforts to impede and counteract the pandemic. Their activity brought support to actions carried out by the central government. However, as seen in the epidemic practice, measures intended to counteract and stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 entailed restrictions that determined the functioning and the life of residents and required unprecedented actions. Practical Implications: The text presents local government’s key role in an effective fight against the pandemic and in mitigating its negative consequences. Such an observation should be taken into account both in regime-related actions and in designing sectoral policies, especially in the context of crisis management. Originality/value: To the best of our knowledge, it is the first analysis of this sort that looks at the activities of Szczecin’s local government during the development of the first waves of the COVID-19 pandemic. Its findings may be significant especially for the management of public policies, though limitations resulting from the very definition of a case study analysis are natural. The observations must be verified by an investigation of other municipal or commune self-governments, also outside Poland.