Local Governance in China: A Comparative Analysis of the Prevention and Control of COVID-19

Hongping Lian


Pandemic prevention and control have become a top priority for local governance. This paper explores the governance logic and patterns in Hubei, Zhejiang, and Henan in China. Under the analytical framework (constituting decision-making and implementation capability, the effectiveness of information dissemination, infrastructural capability, the capability to coordinate horizontal departments and organize civil society, the capability to deliver services, and professional and innovative capability), governance behaviors embody different governance logics. Hubei embodies a traditional administrative-led bureaucratic system, Zhejiang realizes an inclusive public governance logic that relies on professionalism and innovation, and Henan exhibits a typical grassroots mobilization governance model based on mass participation. Speed, transparency, penetration, breadth, warmness, and intensity should be reflected in local officials’ behavior. Local governments are required to be given sufficient decision-making space, local administrative agencies and officials are required to have professional qualities and skills, and local governance should be understood under a new comparative path that explicitly incorporates local specificities.


COVID-19 pandemic, emergent public health event, local governance

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.22140/cpar.v12i2.225


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Chinese Public Administration Review (ISSN 1539-6754, Online ISSN 2573-1483)  is published by the School of Government, Sun Yat-sen University.