Performance Legitimacy and COVID-19: What are Citizens’ Expectations for Crisis Management in an Authoritarian State?

18 Pages Posted: 31 May 2020

See all articles by Reza Hasmath

Reza Hasmath

University of Alberta - Department of Political Science

Timothy Hildebrandt

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Social Policy and Administration

Jessica Teets

Middlebury College

Jennifer Y.J. Hsu

Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales

Carolyn Hsu

Colgate University

Date Written: 2020

Abstract

Chinese citizens are increasingly concluding that the state alone cannot manage national disasters and emergencies. Leveraging two waves of a nation-wide survey of urban residents, conducted in 2018 and 2020, we find statistical support amongst Chinese citizens for civil society organizations to become more involved in a national crisis such as during COVID-19. The theoretical and practical implications for authoritarian regimes are discussed. Primarily, we suggest that while authoritarian regimes can use crises to gain and retain performance legitimacy, their normal methods of controlling information can thwart these gains. Civil society organizations can assist with this dilemma.

Keywords: authoritarian resilience, state performance legitimacy, civil society organizations, national disaster and emergency, COVID-19, China

Suggested Citation

Hasmath, Reza and Hildebrandt, Timothy and Teets, Jessica and Hsu, Jennifer Y.J. and Hsu, Carolyn, Performance Legitimacy and COVID-19: What are Citizens’ Expectations for Crisis Management in an Authoritarian State? (2020). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3615101 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3615101

Reza Hasmath (Contact Author)

University of Alberta - Department of Political Science ( email )

10-16 Henry Marshall Tory Building
Edmonton, Alberta T6G 2H4
Canada

Timothy Hildebrandt

London School of Economics & Political Science (LSE) - Department of Social Policy and Administration ( email )

Houghton Street
London, England WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom

Jessica Teets

Middlebury College ( email )

Middlebury, VT 05753
United States

Jennifer Y.J. Hsu

Social Policy Research Centre, University of New South Wales ( email )

Sydney, 2052
Australia

Carolyn Hsu

Colgate University ( email )

13 Oak Drive
Hamilton NY 13346, NY 13346
United States

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