What are the successful variables in managing the pandemic?

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What are the variables that determinated the success or failure of governments in managing the Pandemic? Many think it is the victory of undemocratic systems and the defeat of democratic systems.

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L’articolo del Prof. Fukuyama è disponibile su project-syndicate.org

Professor Fukuyama of Stanford, on the other hand, believes that the factors are different:

  1. Capacity of the health system.
  2. Trust in the institutions.
  3. Political leadership by governments.

What are the variables of success in managing the pandemic in my opinion

I don’t entirely agree with Fukuyama’s conclusions. I would like to make two comments to stimulate the debate.

The difference between democracies and not, is not as simple as you think. We tend to think that democracy is synonymous with voting. Things are actually more complicated and in Italy, where the people vote with blocked lists without being able to choose the candidates, the degree of democracy could be very distant from, for example, the United Kingdom which uses the pure majority system, without parachutes. Nor can we simply say that China is less democratic than other countries simply because we do not vote.

  1. The differences between democracies and not, is not as simple as you think. We tend to think that democracy is synonymous with voting. Things are actually more complicated and in Italy, where the people vote with blocked lists without being able to choose the candidates, the degree of democracy could be very distant from, for example, the United Kingdom which uses the pure majority system, without parachutes. Nor can we simply say that China is less democratic than other countries simply because we do not vote.
  2. Those who go further, realize that democracy, from the Greek demos kratos, literally means power to the people. But the etymology does not explain to us how this can and should be manifested nor how we can evaluate it. In fact, always from Stanford a colleague of Fukuyama, Josiah Ober believes that the meaning of demos+kratos is not even “to be able to the people”, rather “ability to do”
  3. According to this logic, therefore, if democracy means “ability to do”, our mental map of the ranking of the most democratic countries would be immediately upset. Norway probably remains at the top of the ranking even according to the new definition, but countries like Italy fall down and many countries presumed “undemocratic”, as, of course, China jump to the top for skills.
  4. And here Fukuyama’s analysis perhaps falls into a logical loop: he claims the victory over the virus was not a function of the level of non-democratic democrats, but of the capacity, leadership and where the people have confidence in the institutions and therefore, concludes Fukuyama, they are not of China, but most of Asia. However, while Japan, Korea and Taiwan are now in difficulty, China remains the only country in the world that manages the virus well.
  5. Then we are faced with two possible answers: either Fukuyama is wrong to say that there is no correlation between political system and success against the Covid or Fukuyama is wrong to say that China is not democratic

INSIGHT AND SOURCES

  • Pandemics and Political Performance – Francis Fukuyama, Luis Felipe López-Calva – project-syndicate.org
  • The original meaning of “democracy”: Capacity to do things, not majority rule. – princeton.edu

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