Speaker(s): Professor Sir Tim Besley, Professor Adnan Khan, Professor Margaret Levi | How states respond to the policy challenges posed by COVID-19 depends on the state capacities in place. While some capacity can be built or adapted rapidly, much of that capacity is a reflection of historical patterns of economic and political development. This online public event will explore state capacities, how they are created and maintained and how they reflect state-society relations, exploring the role of civil society as well as government. The event will explore how state capacities underpin the effectiveness of government interventions in different countries in response to the COVID-19 crisis. It will also discuss what can be learned from this and the challenges that lied ahead drawing on insights from economics and political science. Tim Besley is School Professor of Economics of Political Science and Sir W. Arthur Lewis Professor of Development Economics in the Department of Economics at LSE. Adnan Khan (@adnanqk) is Professor in Practice at LSE's School of Public Policy. Before joining the School of Public Policy and STICERD, Professor Khan served as Research and Policy Director at the International Growth Centre at the LSE for ten years. During 2018-19, he was a Visiting Lecturer of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School. Margaret Levi (@margaretlevi) is the Sara Miller McCune Director of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, Professor of Political Science, and Senior Fellow of the Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University. Erik Berglof (@ErikBerglof) is Director at the Institute of Global Affairs at LSE School of Public Policy and Professor of Economics in the Department of Economics at LSE. The Department of Economics (@LSEEcon) at LSE, is one of the leading economics departments in the world. We are a large department, ensuring all mainstream areas of economics are strongly represented in research and teaching. The Institute of Global Affairs (@LSEIGA) aims to maximise the impact of LSE's leading expertise across the social sciences by shaping inclusive and locally-rooted responses to the most important and pressing global challenges. The School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Our approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance. CASBS @ Stanford (@CASBSStanford) brings together deep thinkers from diverse disciplines and communities to advance understanding of the full range of human beliefs, behaviours, interactions, and institutions.