[PUBLICATION+LECTURE] Coronavirus Politics: The Comparative Politics and Policy of COVID-19 / How Institutions Matter in Pandemic Responses: The South Korean Case


On April 15, 2021, I will be hosted by the East Asia National Resource Center and the George Washington University Institute for Korean Studies (GWIKS) at the Elliott School of International Affairs for a talk on South Korea’s COVID-19 pandemic governance. The talk will be based on my contribution to the edited book volume, ‘Coronavirus Politics: The Comparative Politics and Policy of COVID-19’ to be released by University of Michigan Press on April 22, 2021 in print copy for pre-order here and now available in open source forms.

Check out my contributed chapter on the South Korean case here: PDF download


The book identifies key threads in the global comparative discussion that continue to shed light on COVID-19 and shape debates about what it means for scholarship in health and comparative politics. Contributing a chapter to the book on the South Korean pandemic governance on COVID-19 encompassing South Korea’s public health (3Ts: Testing, Tracing, Treatment) and social policies, I argue that functioning institutions matter in pandemic governance and determines the level of their effectiveness by scrutinizing the case of South Korea under COVID-19. I focus on public health bureaucracy and policy coordination supported by public participation, which are vital to effective policy response. My chapter highlights the technocracy at the core in public health and the significant role it has come to play as the “control tower.”

The book brings together over 30 authors versed in politics and the health issues in order to understand the health policy decisions, the public health interventions, the social policy decisions, their interactions, and their reasons – analyses which will serve as a record of country responses to COVID-19 and as a case reference for future pandemics. 

Also, join the editors for the book launch event at the University of Michigan Press on April 22, 2021 on Zoom:


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