Go TO Content

A Review of Taiwan’s Protection Against COVID-19 from the Perspective of Policy Philosophies

A Review of Taiwan’s Protection Against COVID-19 from the Perspective of Policy Philosophies

Jen-Hui Hsu, Yun-Huei Chiu


In 2020, the outstanding performance of Taiwan in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic has attracted worldwide attention. What is the key to Taiwan’s success in achieving virus protection? This article discusses the purpose of public policy formulation and the conditions for success from the policy philosophical views of utilitarianism, liberalism, and communitarian­ism. According to utilitarianism, the purpose of public policy is to improve social welfare, and successful policies should pursue performance. From the perspective of liberalism, the intervention of government can correct market failures. And, successful policies must be based on the rule of law through openness, transparency, and fairness, also taking care of the underprivileged groups. Communitarianism attaches importance to the sense of belonging of the community members and the establishment of the covenant. The purpose of public policy is to promote group security and prosperity. A successful policy should strengthen publicity and communication, and encourage all people to participate in pursing the common goal. Responding to foreign media inquiries, Health and Welfare Minister Chen Shih-Chung said that the key to successful protection from COVID-19 lies in “experts, government, and people,” that is, policy making should follow the opinions of experts, the government’s decision-making process should be open and transparent, and full cooperation of the people is also needed. The policy of Taiwan’s combat against COVID-19 can be described as a combination of these three policy philosophical views. Policy formulation is guided by professional performance, policy implementation is governed by law and transparency, and policy dissemination is emphasized in order to win the trust of the people and form a consensus, to achieve the national goal.

Keywords:  public policy, COVID-19, utilitarianism, liberalism, communitarian­ism