A Comparative Analysis of Government Responses to COVID-19 in the United States, China, and South Korea: Lessons from the Early Stage of the Pandemic
COVID-19 has spread quickly worldwide, presenting unprecedented challenges to countries all over the globe. To understand how different countries have responded to COVID-19 during the early stage of the outbreak, we develop a comprehensive research framework drawing on the literature on wicked problems. Specifically, we comparatively investigate the government responses of the United States, China, and South Korea and examine why and how these countries have adopted and implemented various strategies authoritative, collaborative, and competitive — —depending on their policy environment. Although scholars have argued that collaborative strategies are the preferred approach to dealing with wicked problems, it is found that the most applicable, implementable, and effective strategies vary according to the country's cultural, economic, and political contexts. In addition, the urgency and timing of the crisis may affect the choice of appropriate strategies. Our findings can provide lessons for public administration and policy to cope with other wicked problems.
II. Research Framework
III. COVID-19 Responses in the United States
IV. COVID-19 Responses in China
V. COVID-19 Responses in South Korea
VI. Comparative Analysis