A friend asks why I’ve expended so much energy over the past day arguing the point here that regulatory failures in Wuhan in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic merit sharp critique to this day, in light of everything that has happened since. Its a reasonable question. /1
The best answer I can give is this: those regulatory failures were not unique, in the broad landscape of Chinese regulation, but rather indicative of widespread endemic challenges throughout the system. This was just a particularly consequential failure, for China & the world. /2
When the magnitude of the failure first became apparent in China, there was some hope that perhaps it would spur much needed reforms in Chinese regulation, including towards greater openness & transparency, and re-ordering of the bureaucratic incentives for Chinese officials. /3
Unfortunately, that hope has dimmed over the past 9 months, not least because the overall Chinese government response now looks better in comparison to the deep failings of the US response in particular—which remains the benchmark for analysis in China, for better or worse. /4
Do I disagree the US response has been atrocious? NO. Do I want to call attention to Chinese regulatory failings just because I want to malign China? NO. Am I arguing for China to compensate us for the costs of the COVID-19 pandemic? NO. /5
But do I want China to reform its approach to regulation, to afford better outcomes for Chinese citizens, and beyond them the world as well? ABSOLUTELY. And it’s going to be harder to do that if people forget about the regulatory failures at the very start of this pandemic. /END

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5 Sep
The President of the United States has spent all morning tweeting about "critical race theory", fun! You may ask, gentle readers, what exactly is that, how can I learn more, and does it have any relevance to me? Sounds really interesting, no? It is! A few points below.... /1
First, you'll want to learn a bit about critical legal studies (CLS), one of the most influential scholarly movements in American law schools in the latter half of the 20th century, which built on ideas first developed by the American legal realists in the 1920s and 30s. /2
Actually, Princeton's LAPA program held a neat conference in February on the intellectual history of CLS, which included a panel discussion with some of the key founders (Duncan Kennedy, David Trubek, and Mark Tushnet) which you can watch here: /3 clsconference.princeton.edu/video-the-foun…
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