COVID-19 and public-sector capacity

Authors: Mariana Mazzucato and Rainer Kattel

The paper argues that to govern a pandemic, governments require dynamic capabilities and capacity—too often missing. These include capacity to adapt and learn; capacity to align public services and citizen needs; capacity to govern resilient production systems; and capacity to govern data and digital platforms.  The COVID-19 pandemic presents a massive challenge to governments world-wide—from the provision of income support to citizens and aid to struggling companies to the strengthening of frontline health services. It also requires an unprecedented level of collaboration between nations—from the race for a vaccine to learning how to test and trace. One of the biggest lessons is that state capacity to manage a crisis of this proportion is dependent on the cumulative investments that a state has made on its ability to govern, do and manage. While the crisis is serious for all, it is especially a challenge for countries that have ignored those needed investments in what we can call the ‘dynamic capabilities of the public sector’ (Kattel and Mazzucato, 2018). In the pre-COVID-19 world, governments were increasingly turning their attention to how to tackle ‘grand challenges’ or ‘wicked issues’ such as climate change, demographic challenges, and the promotion of health and wellbeing (Mazzucato, 2018b,c). Behind these challenges lie the difficulties of generating sustainable and inclusive growth. Policy-makers increasingly dedicated their attentions to not only the rate of economic growth, but also its direction (Mazzucato and Perez, 2015).

تاریخ انتشار اولیه: ۸ شهریور ۱۳۹۹
تاریخ رصد: ۱۵ شهریور ۱۳۹۹


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