AuthorLu, Qicheng
  1. Introduction

    Why could China overcome the COVID-19 pandemic peak and achieve rapid economic and social recovery? In recent decades, the losses caused by global crisis events have escalated (Abdulkareem, Elkadi and Breane, 2018, p. 176; Saja et al., 2018, pp. 862-863), and various new risks have emerged one after another. The economic development of a country is inevitably impacted or disturbed by factors such as economic recessions, technological innovation, natural disasters and even terrorism. Thus, the capacity of national crisis management is highly required. In particular, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has caused serious and lasting impact on the global economy and societies (Milani, 2020, pp. 1-2). It brings serious challenges of economic resilience, especially policy resilience. In 2020, the world's total GDP decreased by 3.3% year-on-year, while China's GDP increased by 3.1%, which is the only country with an increase of GDP among the top 15 countries. In fact, most of the emerging economies have been seriously troubled by the COVID-19 pandemic, and their economic development has stagnated or even declined. After analyzing the deeper reasons, we found that the Chinese government has designed and issued a series of policies to promote work resumption after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, so as to guide enterprises to effectively realize the resumption of work and production, and help enterprises overcome difficulties from the aspects of taxation, epidemic prevention, law, employment and so on. Under the circumstances of limited time and uncertain environment, the policies formulated by the Chinese government have shown strong resilience and effectively promoted the high-quality economic and social recovery. What is the nature of a policy with strong resilience is worth studying by scholars, and it is also an urgent problem to be solved through policy design. This study explores China's policies of promoting work resumption from the perspective of resilience, aiming to promote the development of resilience theory, provide new thinking for policy-making, and have important value for the government to enhance its emergency management ability.

    Resilience, also known as elasticity and recovery, refers to the adaptability, recovery and sustainable development ability of various subjects when they encounter external risks, pressures and damages (Walker et al., 2004, p. 2; Alexander, 2013). Resilience has originated from physics and is used to represent the property that an object recovers to its original state after being deformed by external forces (Bozza, Asprone and Manfredi, 2015, p. 1730). In the 1950s, psychology used resilience to denote the ability of individuals or families to actively face and adapt to adversity. In the 1970s, Holling (1973) introduced resilience into system ecology, indicating the ability of the ecosystem to maintain the operation of main functions and structures after being impacted by the outside environment. After that, human beings gradually extended resilience from system ecology to social ecology for the purpose of maximizing social benefits and minimizing environmental impact (Berkes, Folke and Colding, 1998). With VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity) becoming the pronoun of current environmental characteristics, economic resilience has increasingly become a strategic issue that countries all over the world must pay attention to in the pursuit of economic development. It can ensure that economies can make rapid adjustment in the event of impact, and it is the basis for supporting the fine operation of economic and social systems (Martin and Sunley, 2015, p.13). Among them, policy resilience significantly helps to improve economic resilience and is the main driving force for healthy and high-quality development of economy and society after the outbreak of the crisis (Ma, Xiao and Yin, 2018, p. 247; Swanson et al., 2010, p. 924). It refers to the adaptive adjustment ability, reform ability and the vitality stimulated by the policy system when the economic and social system are impacted by the crisis (Capano and Woo, 2017). It resists and solves the consequences of the impact by adjusting policies and reallocating resources, as well as restoring the original economic and social development. For example, after the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, more than 20% of the policies of China's promoting work resumption stimulated the demand for electricity through phased measures such as reducing the price of electricity, subsidies for the use of electricity, and no power failure after arrears. The year-on-year growth rate of power consumption in the second quarter of 2020 increased by 10.4% compared with the first quarter (People's Daily, 2020), which is regarded as the 'barometer' of economic operation. It reflects the good trend of China's economic recovery (People's Daily Overseas Edition, 2020), and reflects the remarkable effect of the policies of promoting work resumption. Policy design is a complex process, involving multiple actors and multiple interest demands. When facing VUCA situation, this puts forward stricter requirements for policy-making. But the research on policy resilience can provide guidance for the government's effective decision-making.

    Policy is an important way to improve economic resilience (Briguglio et al., 2006). However, gaps exist in the current field due to the lack of research on specific policies from the perspective of resilience. The deficiencies are as follows: first, no study has found a suitable perspective and method to analyze the radical advantages of China's policies of promoting work resumption, the possible reasons for this are the limited empirical evidence, lack of policy evaluation tools and inadequate policy resilience theory. Second, as one of the three values of public administration, resilience often contradicts the bureaucratic norms and procedural principles of efficiency. The introduction of resilience theory needs to balance its relationship with other values (Hood, 1991, p. 11). However, the lack of research on the paradigm of policy resilience seriously restricts the consideration of resilience in policy design. Third, policy evaluation mainly focuses on the period or after policy implementation, such as Markov Analysis, Cost Benefit Analysis and Comparison Method. In these two stages of evaluation, policies often waste time and resources because of some inappropriate contents, and these play little role in a highly uncertain environment. Meanwhile, there are few policy evaluation methods before policy implementation, but the evaluation methods have the problem of strong subjectivity, which cannot ensure the objectivity and scientificity of the evaluation results (Yi and Feiock, 2012; Suddaby, 2006; Baniya, Giurco and Kelly, 2021).

    In order to solve the limitations of the previous studies, from the perspective of policy resilience, this study analyzes China's policies of promoting work resumption by comprehensively using PMC-index model and text mining tools. The difference between this model and the previous policy evaluation model is that it is based on the hypothesis of omnia mobilis as the guiding ideology, the main purpose of this model is that everything in the world is moving and connected. Therefore, any relevant variable should not be ignored or considered unimportant (Ruiz Estrada, Yap and Nagaraj, 2008, p. 188). When selecting variables, the scope of consideration is wider. The analysis system based on this can effectively test the adaptability and stability of policies. Meanwhile, the model adopts the method of text mining, which can avoid the subjectivity of expert scoring and make the policy evaluation more objective and scientific. PMC-index model has been applied to new energy, cultivated land protection, science and technology and other fields for policy evaluation (Yang, Xing and Li, 2020; Kuang et al, 2020; Du, Yuan and Gao, 2019), showing good adaptability and scientificity. The novelty of this study includes three aspects: (1) Taking the COVID-19 pandemic as the research opportunity, this study analyzes the reasons for the steady performance of China's policies of promoting work resumption from the perspective of policy resilience, which responds to recent calls (Dutt, 2016, p. 377). This provides practical value by suggestions on policy making of economic recovery for other countries, especially emerging economies; (2) Policy resilience is mainly reflected in the stability and adaptability of policies in an uncertain environment (Dutt, 2016, p. 375). Guided by these two characteristics, this study applies PMC-index model to analyze policy, which is a new attempt in the field of policy resilience research; (3) Before the implementation of the policy, we can comprehensively analyze its content and characteristics through text mining and quantitative evaluation of the policy text. It can enhance the objective fairness of the evaluation results and put forward scientific and comprehensive policy optimization paths to provide useful enlightenment for improving policy resilience.

  2. Describing the case

    At the beginning of 2020, COVID-19 pandemic broke out all over the world, affecting the normal operation of economy and society. China was also seriously affected by it. The closure of cities began on January 23, and enterprises stopped production in a wide range, resulting in a year-on-year decrease of 6.8% in China's GDP in the first quarter of 2020. However, it reversed the growth to 3.2% in the second quarter. China's 'Working arrangements for COVID-19 pandemic prevention and control and economic and social development' conference was released in February 23, 2020, which has made strict arrangements for the next epidemic prevention and control and economic and social development, and has begun the work of promoting work resumption. After that, China's State Council...

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