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A Tale of Two City-states: A Comparison of the State-led vs Civil Society-led Responses to COVID-19 in Singapore and Hong Kong

Activity: Talk/lecture or presentationTalk/lecture

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This paper compares the early pandemic response in Singapore and Hong Kong, two Asian city-states of similar sizes with a shared history of SARS, and advanced medical systems. Although both were able to contain the disease, they did so using two very dierent approaches. Using data from cross-national surveys, news, and mobility data, we demonstrate that, in protest-ridden Hong Kong, low governmental trust bolstered civil society, which focused on self-mobilization and community mutual-help. In Singapore, a state-led response model that marginalized civil society brought early success but failed to stem an outbreak among its egregated migrant population. The study sheds light on the roles of state and non-state actors in a crisis.

Research Unit / Event Journal/Book Series


TitleOne Health Social and Public Policy Seminar
PlaceHong Kong
Degree of recognitionNational event