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Food for Thought Lecture Series – Role of Bureaucracy in Successful Coronavirus Strategy: The Case of Kerala
October 7, 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Rumela Sen, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs
What makes some governments more responsive to citizens than others? This question of government responsiveness, a key question in political economy, gains special significance in the context of heterogeneous performance of various state governments in the face of a life-threatening pandemic like Covid 19. Usually diversity and representation in governments have been advocated as key explanations for government responsiveness. However, these explanations tend to focus on elected governments, and virtually ignore the significance of bureaucratic representation. This paper examines the role of bureaucratic representation as a key factor in the successful coronavirus strategy. It uses the Indian state of Kerala, which has been widely applauded as a ‘model’ for effective government intervention in mitigating this public health crisis, to illustrate this argument. This paper also speaks to the debate of embedded v autonomous bureaucracy in public policy making in developing countries, and highlights some of the policy lessons learned from the Kerala model.
Wednesday, October 7 | 12:00 PM