RSIS Webinar by Dr Adam Garfinkle, RSIS Distinguished Visiting Fellow; and Founding Editor of The American Interest
“Bad Arguments Never Die”: Why Effective National Responses to Pandemic Crises Have Nothing to Do with Regime Type or Governmental Size
This is a virtual event. Event was streamed on YouTube Live. You can watch it from the link or the embedded video below.
We have heard sirens of ideological marketing in the COVID-19 crisis, from Russia, China, and elsewhere, claiming that the pandemic proves authoritarian government superior to democratic government. We have also heard arguments in the United States and some other countries that small and limited government is inferior to big government in tough times, and implying that all future times will be tough.
Neither argument is correct. The evidence shows that neither authoritarian nor democratic systems have clear advantages or disadvantages in pandemic contingencies—other factors are far more important. The same goes for the size of government. Neither big nor small is necessarily better; better is better, and what determines administrative effectiveness and competency is far more complex than mere size.
About the Speaker
Adam Garfinkle is on a year-long engagement at RSIS as Distinguished Visiting Fellow. Aside from being Founding Editor of The American Interest, Dr Garfinkle has served as Editor of The National Interest, as Principal Speechwriter to the US Secretary of State while attached to the Policy Planning Staff of the State Department, was chief writer of the Hart-Rudman Commission reports, and has taught at several institutions of higher education including SAIS/Johns Hopkins. His PhD in International Relations is from the University of Pennsylvania.