Enhancing mixed accountability for state-society synergy: South Korea’s responses to COVID-19 with ambidexterity governance
Taekyoon KIM and Bo Kyung KIM
This essay is undertaken to analyse South Korea’s successful strategies in tracing promptly and dealing properly with the corona pandemic. The “K-Quarantine” model can be identified as a combined total package of state-society synergy, equipped with a series of critical factors, such as institutionalized learning effects from MERS, the government leadership inherited from Korea’s development state in the past, civic engagements with voluntary and transparent channels, high level of medical and ICT technology, and mixed accountability between coercive governance and adaptive governance. The Korean model, despite its successful achievements, can neither be exported nor imitated by the Global South, since it is uniquely home-grown within Korea’s specific contexts and domestic multi-stakeholders involved in mixed accountability.
Keywords: COVID-19; South Korea; civic engagement; public service; state-society synergy, accountability
Taekyoon Kim is a Professor of international development, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University. His focus areas are international development, global social governance and international political sociology. His publications include articles in multiple prestigious journals of the field and books on topics of reflection on development theories and accountability mechanisms in Asia.
Bo Kyung Kim is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University. Her focus area is international development with recent publications on topics of foreign aid, accountability in international development, and global norms on sustainable development goals. Major areas of interest include international development, global governance, and diverse forms of accountability mechanisms.