Title

State and COVID-19 Response in the Asian Tiger Economies Hong Kong, Taiwan and Singapore

Author First name, Last name, Institution

Habibul Haque Khondker, Zayed University

ORCID Identifiers

0000-0002-5545-7599

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Comparative Sociology

Publication Date

12-1-2021

Abstract

By comparing the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Tiger economies, Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Singapore, this article examines the advantages and limitations of the statist command and control approaches to crisis management. Local, regional, and global politics as well as global political economy impinge and influence the state response. The article argues that a combination of factors - the institutional memory, overall state capacity and efficacy rooted in the preexisting institutional nexus, performance legitimacy, trust, reliance on scientific rationality, and integration with global scientific networks - stood in good stead in dealing with the crisis. Yet, as the crisis rolled on, some of the stellar performers showed considerable gaps in planning and politics trumped sensible policies. Despite the commonality, the article shows that there were important differences in the responses of the three Tiger economies, especially in rolling out the vaccines, which can be explained not only by the state capacity but also the larger global politico-economic contexts. The article argues that the state capacity is affected by the global dynamics, the specificity of geopolitical and historical contexts, which must be factored in in explaining successes and failures of state responses.

ISSN

1569-1322

Publisher

Brill

Volume

20

Issue

6

First Page

695

Last Page

717

Disciplines

Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

COVID-19 response, statist approach, governance, political economy, geopolitics, globalization

Indexed in Scopus

no

Open Access

yes

Open Access Type

Bronze: This publication is openly available on the publisher’s website but without an open license

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