In December 2019, the disease caused by the new Coronavirus Sars-CoV-2 appeared in Wuhan City, China, and spread rapidly around the world. The World Health Organization subsequently declared COVID-19 an international public health emergency. As of December 12, 2021, more than 260 million laboratory-confirmed cases had been documented globally, at least 5.2 million people had perished, and the virus had been found in practically all countries. Many governments, including those in developed countries, have struggled to successfully manage their response, with a wide variety of approaches of lockdown stringency and use of non-pharmaceutical interventions. It is therefore reasonable to investigate the impact of various variables on the quality of efforts to control the COVID-19 epidemic. Among the political variables which are presumed to have a direct effect on the quality of administration, there have been several disputes about the effects of federalism, democracy, and state capacity on the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19. However, it is unclear whether and how states could maximize the effectiveness of containment policy measures and which capabilities at the governance level are required. A concise review of the data about the political variables and political development measures on the morbidity and mortality of COVID-19-related diseases shows that there is not a certain relationship between them. Some aspects of the diverse, nonlinear relationships between political development and COVID-19 are illustrated these data which indicate the ambivalent nature of relationships between political development measures and cumulative confirmed COVID-19 cases per million people in different countries. These graphs compare the morbidity of COVID-19 (World Health Organization 2020; our world in data) with the level of political rights (“Freedom in the World Data” 2020), open government and civil justice (“The World Justice Project (WJP) Rule of Law Index” 2020) in some developed and developing countries. Interestingly, they do not show a linear relationship between political development measures and the morbidity of COVID-19. These data thus point to unclear relationships between political development measures and the responses to the pandemic in different countries, and to the sometimes-contradictory effects of responses implemented to date by different governments. Of particular note are the differences between Norway, New Zealand, Sweden, Taiwan, the Republic of Korea and Japan, on one hand, and Spain, France, the USA, Italy and even Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands and Switzerland on the other hand. It may be hypothesized that particular features of state processes and practices account for the different results.
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resources: world health organization our world in data world justice project world bank world governance index freedom house