Laura Thornton, Director for Global Programme at the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance.
For an expert opinion on this subject Caucasian Journal has turned to Laura THORNTON, Director for Global Programme at Stockholm-based International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance. Until recently Laura has headed National Democratic Institute in Tbilisi, and is well known in our region.
LT: Yes, there is plenty of bemoaning the inability of democracies to quickly adopt the tough measures, including limiting freedoms, to address the virus, the assumption being that non- or hybrid- democracies do this more effectively as they are not hindered by checks or bureaucracy, like China and Singapore. This position is, of course, swiftly countered by those pointing out the successes of democracies like Germany, Taiwan, and South Korea, where immediate and efficient actions – including large scale testing, tracking, and isolating cases – have proven effective. There is also evidence of established democracies crippled by incompetence and bureaucracy. Successful responses reflect mostly the competence and efficacy of states and, in my view, provide a more compelling case than ever for good governance – efficient, nimble, responsive, transparent, and organized.