The Covid-19 Pandemic, which has already impacted on human society enormously with the global death toll surpassing 150,000 as of 18 April 2020, is characterized by uncertainties: Until now scientists do not agree on how the virus will develop or when vaccine will be available to the public, and public health experts are not able to predict when the pandemic will be over and people can get back to normal life. The Pandemic is not likely to be an isolated case this year. Even after we overcome this challenge, we may have similar challenges in coming years, given human society’s over-intervention with nature: unprecedented road-building, deforestation, and agricultural development make us susceptible to pathogens like coronaviruses; the public health risks are interlinked with urbanization, population density, globalized travel and trade, as well as poverty, which will result in far-reaching social and economic consequences in near future too. How we can draw policy lessons from the Pandemic to link to policy actions is a critical question for our future society. The Pandemic poses tremendous policy problems in cases where existing policy processes and governance are not enough. Policy innovations are necessary, given that this challenge requires a complex calculus premised on decision-making under uncertainties (Shimizu & Clark, 2019). Global public health risks interact with different national and local social and economic systems which lead to the reality that the various parties to a decision do not know or cannot agree upon the system and its boundaries (Lempert et al. 2003). This policy reality brings about the question of how to “link” local, national, and international public policy involving different parties including scientists, private sectors and communities under uncertainties. The linkage will be a key in thinking about innovative policy processes and governance
Mika Shimizu is Associate Professor of in Kyoto University. She has been a visiting researcher in East-West Center in the United States from 2008-2013. Previously she served as a policy researcher at the Nomura Research Institute, America and as a special assistant at the Japanese Embassy in Washington DC. She holds an MA from American University and a Ph.D. in International Public Policy from Osaka University (2006). She has been extensively involved in policy research projects related to global issues, natural disaster/infectious diseases, and resilience and governance.
Hamilton Bean is Associate Professor of Communication and Director of the International Studies Program at the University of Colorado Denver, where he conducts research at the intersection of communication, organization, and security, and teaches courses in strategic communication and organizational discourse. He also teaches at the International College Beijing and conducts research on public relations education in China. He served as a Guest Researcher at Kyoto University's Disaster Prevention Research Institute in Japan in 2019.
Celine Cholez is Associate Professor of Sociology at Grenoble Engineering Institute at Grenoble-Alpes University and Responsible for the Risk Governance Program in the Cross-Disciplinary Project « Risk » of the University. She conducts researches about changes in risk governance through new approaches based on the resilience concept operationalized with the help of technological fixes. Her works mainly tackle prolonged crisis. She served as a Guest Researcher at Polytechnique Montreal in 2018.
13h30-13h40 : Introduction
13h40-14h10: Mika Shimizu's presentation : "Can the few cases determine the success of Japan’s approach?"
14h10-14h40 : Celine Cholez's presentation : "French Case: Difficult change in French governance to overcome a prolonged crisis"
14h40-15h10 : Hamilton's presentation : "Do Wireless Emergency Alerts Help Impede the Spread of Covid-19?"
15h10-15h30 : Discussion