The global reach of COVID-19 presents opportunities to compare policy responses to the pandemic and the role of knowledge across political contexts. This article examines the case of Vietnam’s COVID-19 response. Recognized for its early effectiveness, Vietnam exhibits the standard characteristics of unitary states but has also engaged communities, strengthening the legitimacy of and buy-in to response efforts. This article identifies six factors that shaped Vietnam’s response to the pandemic: (i) command-and-control governance, (ii) extensive preparation, (iii) fostering cooperative sentiment and solidarity, (iv) political readiness and communication, (v) policy coordination, and (vi) adaptation. The article contributes to practical discussions about country-specific responses to the pandemic, and to scholarship on policy effectiveness and success within the policy sciences and public management. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.
CitationHartley, K., Bales, S., & Bali, A. S. (2021). COVID-19 response in a unitary state: Emerging lessons from Vietnam. Policy Design and Practice, 4(1), 152-168. doi: 10.1080/25741292.2021.1877923
- Pandemic response
- Policy success
- Policy effectiveness