Session Abstract: COVID19 has presented enormous challenges in terms of governance across Asia and globally that have been met in myriad ways by both democratic and non-democratic regimes. Across the board, the pandemic has exacerbated preexisting socioeconomic, racial and other divides within and between countries. Focussing on internal dynamics within the PRC, Yang explores how central-provincial relations have impacted responses in public health emergencies, and maps how the lessons learned from the SARS crisis in 2002-2003 and institutional reform measures put in place since that time either fulfilled or fell short of their promise during the Wuhan outbreak of 2019-20. By contrast, Weber and Qi argue that, in China, a specific form of state capitalism which they call the ‘planned market,' in which the state governs through mobilizing the market, predominated in China's response. Comparing two economies that rely heavily on migrant workers, Ren finds that China's household registration (hukou) system, and India's electoral dynamics determine how already patchy safety nets worked in each country under lockdown: attempts to expand social welfare incurred resistance, from local governments in China, and from the middle class and the corporate sector in India. Grundy-Warr finds that the silences and erasures to local geographies in Cambodia and Myanmar, as well as their relations to China, have shaped their national responses in response to the pandemic. Finally, Rowen finds that, counterintuitively, Taiwan's exclusion from international bodies like the WHO actually contributed to its exceptional success in fighting COVID19.
Paper Presenter: Dali Yang – University of Chicago
Paper Presenter: Xuefei Ren – Michigan State University
Co-author: mukta Naik – Centre for Policy Research
Co-author: Yinghong Huang – Jindal Global University
Paper Presenter: Ian Rowen – Nanyang Technological University
Paper Presenter: Carl E. Grundy-Warr – National University of Singapore
Paper Presenter: Isabella Weber – University of Massachusetts, Amherst