Governance or social resilience: Learning from Southeast Asia’s experience with COVID-19 | Melbourne Asia Review

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The COVID-19 pandemic has been a shock for governments and societies across Southeast Asia. Nations have responded differently through approaches based on governance, on social resilience, or both.

Our expert panellists examine the responses of three key Southeast Asian countries, Indonesia, Singapore and Vietnam, to learn how they have weathered the crisis.

This webinar was jointly hosted by the Asia Institute at the University of Melbourne and the Asia Research Centre at Universitas Indonesia.

Special guest: Dr Bambang Brodjonegoro, Minister of Research, Technology & Innovation, Republic of Indonesia.


Dr Arie Setiabudi Soesilo, Dean, Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Indonesia.

Professor Vedi Hadiz, Director, Asia Institute, University of Melbourne


Dr Inaya Rakhmani, Department of Communication, Faculty of Social and Political Sciences, Universitas Indonesia. Dr Rakhmani has a particular interest in the cultural political economy of knowledge, information and entertainment as well as the role of media in processes of democratisation.

Dr Walid Jumblatt Bin Abdullah, Assistant Professor, School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. Walid Jumblatt Abdullah received his PhD under a Joint Degree Program between National University of Singapore and King’s College, London. He works on state-Islam relations, and political parties and elections, with particular focus on Singapore and Malaysia.

Dr Adam Fforde, Associate Professor in South East Asian Studies, Asia Institute, The University of Melbourne.  Dr Fforde’s career has included working as a development consultant with a range of clients including a stint as an advisor in the Swedish Embassy, Hanoi. In academia, his main output is related to Vietnam (about 80% of the current 1700 citations on Google Scholar), and he also publishes on issues of development, economic method and social science methodology as related to governance. (The PowerPoint presentation by Associate Professor Fforde for the webinar can be accessed here and an article by him on COVID-19 and Vietnam’s response can be accessed here.)

Image: Free COVID-19 testing in Da Nang, Vietnam, August 2020. Credit: Lusin_da_ra/Shutterstock.


COVID-19 governance pandemic public health