Governments are being put to the test as they struggle with the fast and wide spread of COVID-19. This article discusses the compelling challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by examining how this wicked problem has been managed by the South Korean government with agile-adaptive, transparent actions to mitigate the surge of COVID-19. Unlike many Western countries, South Korea has been able to contain the spread of COVID-19 without a harsh forced lockdown of the epicenter of the virus. This essay argues that an agile-adaptive approach, a policy of transparency in communicating risk, and citizens’ voluntary cooperation are critical factors. It also suggests that the South Korean government learned costly lessons from the MERS failure of 2015. This essay suggests ways that Western countries can manage future wicked problems such as COVID-19 without paying too much cost and maintaining quality of life in open and free societies.
Bibliographical notePublisher Copyright:
© 2020 by The American Society for Public Administration
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration