Researcher ORCID Identifier

Graduation Year


Date of Submission


Document Type

Campus Only Senior Thesis


Keck Center Best Senior Thesis - International Policy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts


Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE)

Reader 1

Aseema Sinha


China was subject to harsh denouncement for mishandling the initial outbreak of COVID-19 in early 2020. However, it also received recognition for swiftly containing the virus and bringing economic activities and social life back to normal. This paper aims to understand the reasons behind the seemingly paradoxical governance during the public health crisis of COVID-19. Based on the fragmented authoritarian framework outlined by Kenneth Lieberthal and empirical evidence from three cities, the study identifies the embedded systematic shortcomings that caused the repetitive lethargic responses to the outbreaks of SARS and COVID-19. It also unravels the subnational governance on containment measures in Wuhan, Shijiazhuang, and Hangzhou municipal governments. The study further explores the potential ramifications of the stringent and coercive practices.

This thesis is restricted to the Claremont Colleges current faculty, students, and staff.