Share this article


The Coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has fomented a moral crisis for administrations struggling to choose between “lives” and “livelihoods”, i.e. between mitigating the public health fallout and averting an economic depression. The challenge is being met, and public value trade-off addressed, using a variety of approaches across countries. This working paper draws attention to this dilemma of lives v. livelihoods, arguing that attitudinal, developmental, and structural factors weight down upon the administrative praxis of maintaining two conflicting opposed public values.

Available at SSRN or

Suggested Citation:

Chohan, Usman W., The Lives or Livelihoods? The Coronavirus Dilemma for Administrations (April 24, 2020). CASS Working Papers on Economics & National Affairs 2020 .

Recent Publications

Browse through the list of recent publications.

Humans in the Age of Generative AI

As the fourth Industrial Revolution unfolds, Artificial Intelligence – devouring computational power and big data – is fuelling an ‘AI Spring.’ This article outlines the trends in Generative AI and explores the need to invest in human capital through upskilling/reskilling programmes amid fears of AI replacing humans. It attempts to reframe the conversation and larger vision in a positive light such that primacy remains with humans.

Read More »

The Conundrum of TTP in Pak-Afghan Relations

Over several decades, Pak-Afghan relations have been characterised by phases of turbulence and stability. The current phase of bilateral relations is also marked by relative friction between the two neighbours. The primary reason for the strained relationship is Pakistan’s concern about either the inability or lack of will by the interim Afghan government to rein in Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP).

Read More »

Work-from-Home to Vote-from-Home

The COVID-19 pandemic left behind many enduring legacies, with remote work, commonly known as Work-From-Home (WFH) being one of its more enduring ones. Back then, workplaces witnessed a remarkable revamp in routines, schedules and practices. Weekly office meetings shifted from conference rooms to living rooms via virtual meeting apps. Home desks assumed the role of office cabins, complete with the added benefit of flexible working hours in many instances.


Read More »

Stay Connected

Follow and Subscribe

Join Our Newsletter
And get notified everytime we publish new content.


Developed By Team CASSTT

Contact CASS

CASS (Centre for Aerospace & Security Studies), Old Airport Road, Islamabad
+92 51 5405011

All views and opinions expressed or implied are those of the authors/speakers/internal and external scholars and should not be construed as carrying the official sanction of CASS.