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Republic of Korea and COVID-19: Gleaning governance lessons from a unique approach

Sep 25, 2020

In a world struggling to manage both the pandemic and its spillover effects–– with a population of around 51 million people and only about 320 dead eight months after the pandemic started––the Republic of Korea stands out in the global landscape of pandemic management and SDG16+ leadership. The country is, of course, not immune from COVID-19 waves and containment risks. However, its fundamental approach seems to be quite effective from a global perspective. Indeed, state capacity, trust, and leadership seem to be more powerful crisis management tools than specific governance models that went hand in hand with stockpiles of equipment. Interestingly, ROK’s COVID-19 management capacity is also contributing significantly to the country’s soft power.

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