Title : Do governance capacity and legitimacy affect citizens' satisfaction with COVID-19 management? Some evidence from South Asia

Authors : Ishtiaq Jamil, Akram Hossain

Abstract : Purpose Theoretically, both democratic legitimacy and government capacity are necessary for successful crisis management, like the COVID-19 pandemic. The authors argue that there are important variations for pandemic management in the developed and democratic world. However, are these equally needed in the developing world where democracy and capacity are present in varying degrees and in some countries with a vast deficit? This article analyzes how legitimacy and capacity affect citizens' satisfaction with the pandemic management in South Asia. Design/methodology/approach The study is based on a survey of 3,423 randomly selected respondents from Facebook users in South Asia. The survey data are presented and discussed along with information derived from secondary sources to put the data in the broader context of the South Asian countries. The authors apply ordinary linear regression for statistical analysis. Findings The findings suggest that citizens are content with the performance of government institutions in COVID-19 management. They emphasize material well-being, such as relief provisions and financial incentives during the crisis period. They are, however, less concerned about the legitimacy dimension, although democracy in South Asia is flawed with excessive restrictions on public freedom during the pandemic. The contradictory findings may be due to the public orientation towards authoritarian culture and their preference for strongman rule in crisis management. Practical implications The governments in South Asia may systematically use army and police forces to manage crises as people are more satisfied with their performance during COVID-19 management. Originality/value This is the first time data across South Asia have been collected and analyzed about crisis management.

Journal : International Journal of Public Sector Management Volume : 35 Year : 2022 Issue : 06
Pages : 676-691 City : Edition : Editors :
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