In this paper we ask to what extent these three types of learning have occurred with regard to COVID-19. That is, to what extent learning occurred as a result of past experience with pandemics, and whether countries learned from the pandemic experience of others, or from their own experience with other types of emergencies. To assess which types of governance learning occurred the paper analyzes the experience of four East Asian polities that were previously affected by SARS/MERS: South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Hong-Kong.
Their experience is compared with that of Israel. Having faced other emergencies but not a pandemic, Israel could have potentially learned from its experience with other emergencies, or from the experience of others with regard to pandemics before the onset of COVID-19. The consequences in the 5 polities at the end of the first six months of Covid-19, reflected by the numbers of infected and deaths, on one hand, and by the level of disruption to normal life, on the other, verifies these findings.