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Capacity in motion: comparative COVID-19 governance in India and South Africa

Author / Authors:

  • Tathagata Chatterji
  • Graeme Götz
  • Philip Harrison
  • Rob Moore
  • Souvanic Roy


Territory, Politics, Governance DOI: 10.1080/21622671.2022.2154829


With the COVID-19 pandemic, critical questions have surfaced in several countries regarding the capacity of the state to respond with agility to the crisis, and to use the crisis in a transformational way over the longer term. These questions are addressed in a comparative study of the State of Kerala in India and the Province of Gauteng in South Africa. The study contributes to two partial gaps in the literature: (1) inadequate attention to the subnational dimensions of crisis governance; and (2) the temporal dimension of state capacity, noting historical and contextual factors conditioning capacity, with shifts through the course of a crisis and beyond. While both territories showed significant agility in response to the crisis, Kerala strengthened its capacities in a way that Gauteng did not, and this had significant implications for the abilities of these governments to both manage the pandemic and leverage the pandemic for longer term benefit.

Download (open access): https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/epdf/10.1080/21622671.2022.2154829?needAccess=true&role=button


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