Global risk and uncertainty. Documentary analysis of the COVID-19 state of emergency (2020-2022)

Bergamo, Sonia (Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca)


Changelog (Archive version):

1.0 - 2024-02-20
* First import routine of the study



Changelog (Source release):

* first release



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Data Kind:
individual data

Time Dimensions:

Methodological Notes:
Methodological Notes
other documentation

During the pandemic emergency, several communicative artifacts have been produced. These language practices adhered to the crisis risk communication strategies.


Within the COVID-19 pandemic to date, the discourse analysis is limited to media or leaders language with little analysis of institutional crisis communication.


This contribution aims at filling this gap by presenting a documentary analysis of the Italian case.


Data includes 648 official documents produced between the declaration of the state of emergency (January 31, 2020) and its cessation (March 31, 2022).

Results shed light on the technocratic approach the Italian crisis discourse laid on, in which the nature of risk was objective and knowable.

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Topic Classification:

  • HEALTH - health policy
  • INFORMATION AND COMMUNICATION - language and linguistics
  • LAW, CRIME AND LEGAL SYSTEMS - legislation
  • Nations: Italy

    Geographical Unit: not applicable

    Analysis Unit: text unit

    Universe: All documents (laws, decree-laws, decrees, circulars, ordinances, reports/verbals, etc.) issued during the state of emergency in Italy (31 January 2020 - 31 March 2022) by the following institutions: President of the Council, Ministry of Health, Head of the Civil Protection Department, Istituto Superiore di Sanità and the Technical Scientific Committee.

    Sample Procedure: 648 documents. Non-probabilistic purposive sample. The documents were selected from those freely accessible on the official websites of the institutions considered, filtering on the keyword 'COVID-19'. Among the results obtained, documents concerning restrictive decisions on fundamental rights and civil liberties (e.g. freedom of movement), enforced everyday freedoms (e.g. wearing masks, case tracking, quarantines, physical distancing, Green Pass), as well as closures (e.g. school closures, business closures and bans on public events) were selected.

    Weight: No weight used

    Collection Mode: other

    Collection Size: UniData supplies: 648 documents in PDF o MS Word format (ita); 1 analysis file in REFI-QDA Project format (ita); 1 methodological notes in PDF format (ita), 1 Data List in PDF format (ita) (651 file)


    Data List (pdf):
    DDI Documentation:
    DDI Documentation

    Data Use Restriction:
    Data are released in according to Creative Commons – Attribution 4.0 Licence, available here.
    Source Contact: Sonia Bergamo - Università degli Studi di Milano-Bicocca

    Bergamo, Sonia. (2020-2022) Global risk and uncertainty. Documentary analysis of the COVID-19 state of emergency. UniData - Bicocca Data Archive, Milan. Study Number SN246. Data file version 1.0 doi:10.20366/unimib/unidata/SN246-1.0

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