COVID-19 Data Analysis-4.3 (Government Decisions/Citizens Request) print   
joongmin  Email [2020-08-26 15:22:04]  HIT : 328  

Preference Between Government Decisions and Citizen Requests by Global Citizens


1.    Background

Decisions that have made by a government may cause dissatisfaction and complaints by the people; yet, sometimes a government has no choice but to coerce citizens to behave in accordance with its policies during the crisis. For instance, during the COVID-19, many governments around the world have required citizens to wear masks in public transportation, cinemas, and so on. However, there were protests against mandatory masks in the United States, arguing that the disease is overblown. In the midst of the pandemic, a small piece of cloth has incited a nationwide feud about public health, civil liberties, and personal freedom. Some Americans refuse to wear a facial covering out of principle. Others in this country are enraged by the way that people flout the mask mandates.[1]


2.    Research Topic

Governments are willing to slow down the spread of the virus and recommend or mandate to wear masks, avoid religious gatherings, and so on. However, there are some people who deny wearing a mask because they argue that they cannot wear a mask for a long time because of a personal health problem such as rhinitis, asthma, and hypertension. Also, many believers contend that the government should not control religious activities. As the prolongation of the virus, debate over the top-down approach of a government decision making process and bottom-up process through citizens’ engagement is also a significant issue in the society. This section will analyze where global citizens put more emphasis on.


3.    Questionnaire Used

Survey Question II-1: “When faced with risks threatening the security of citizens’ lives, some claim that citizens should follow the government’s decisions, since the government represents an official authority, whereas others claim that the government should respect citizens’ judgments and develop appropriate policies, because it is the citizens who must actually face the risks. If there was a significant gap between these two, which opinion do you feel is more correct?”

The answers consist of a 10-point scale, with higher scores indicating an individual who emphasizes more on citizens’ judgment and lower scores demonstrating a person who underlines government decisions.


4.    Major Outcomes

Table 1: Government Decisions Index (GDI) and Citizen Requests Index (CRI)
by Citizens of 30 Global Cities


Government Decisions Index (GDI) represents citizens’ preference for the decision-making by the government during the crisis, and the higher the score is, the more an individual would like to leave much room for government decisions. Contrarily, the higher Citizen Requests Index (CRI) score is, the more a citizen put an emphasis on citizens’ judgments and their voices. The average scores of each city indicate the Citizen Requests Index (CRI), and 11 minus CRI demonstrates Government Decisions Index (GDI). The numerical differences between the two were calculated in order to show the gap between the two indexes of 30 global citizens.

Table 2: Average Citizen Requests Index (CRI) by Region


Average Citizen Requests Index (1 – 10)

East Asia


Southeast/South Asia


North America




Latin America





The scores in the table are the average Citizen Requests Index (CRI) of the global citizens by region. To be specific, the lowest score of 4.62 was rated by Southeast and South Asian citizens on average. It demonstrates that people in this region tend to put more stress on government ruling than the citizens’ engagement compared to other regions in the world. On the contrary, the highest score of 5.27 was rated by East Asian citizens, which illustrates that people here highlight more on a citizens’ role than government policies on average.

Figure 1: Bar Graph of Average Economy Priority Index by Region

Figure 1 is the visualized graph of Table 2, and the orange line is the world average Citizen Requests Index. The graph identifies that East Asia, Latin America, and Europe are more inclined to prioritize citizens’ requests when compared to other regions in the world. On the other hand, Southeast/South Asian people are showing the least interest in citizens’ judgments. However, the result might be skewed by too generalized indexes, and therefore, we will look at the scores of each city.

Figure 2: Line Graph of Citizen Requests Index (CRI) and Government Decisions Index (GDI)

This figure is a visualized version of Table 1, and the most outstanding finding of Figure 2 is that most of GDIs are higher than CRIs. It illustrates that citizens generally rely more on governments during the emergency; nonetheless, citizens in Tokyo, Osaka, Hong Kong, Moscow, and São Paulo render citizens’ requests as important than government decisions.

Figure 3: Bar Graph of Numerical Difference between Government Decisions Index (GDI) and Citizen Requests Index (CRI)

The differences between GDIs and CRIs are drawn as a bar graph, shown in Figure 3. The orange bar indicates the global average difference score (0.91). The bigger the difference scores, the more citizens are weighing on government decisions to overcome a disaster. In this sense, Asian citizens are accenting on the government’s role the most, such as citizens in Taipei, Seoul, Manila, Singapore, and Jakarta. However, people in Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Osaka are having more interests in citizens’ opinions. It demonstrates that both two poles are represented by Asian people.

Other than the Asian region, citizens in São Paulo and Moscow prefer to citizen requests than government decisions during the pandemic. All in all, most cities in the world think highly of government decisions during the abnormal period.


5.    Summaries and Further Tasks

a.     Generally speaking, global citizens regard government decisions as important than citizen requests.

b.     Global citizens prioritize government decisions than citizen requests during the COVID-19 era since the numeric difference scores of Government Decisions Index (GDI) and Citizen Requests Index (CRI) are positive. Yet, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Osaka, São Paulo, and Moscow show the negative difference between the two, implying that the citizens in these cities put more emphasis on citizens’ role than the government.

c.     East Asian, Latin American, and European average CRIs are higher than the global average, indicating these regions are sensitive about civil activities, whereas Southeast/South Asian average CRI scored the lowest.

d.     The study is limited to descriptive research, and therefore, a more detailed explanative investigation is required to further understand the global citizens’ consciousness presented above. For instance, why do Asians show opinions from both extremes? How come Latin America’s average CRI is higher than the Western countries?

[1] Tara McKelvey, “Coronavirus: Why are Americans so angry about masks?”, BBC News, 20 July 2020,

     18. COVID-19 Data Analysis-4.4 (Rule by Order/Rule of Law)
     16. COVID-19 Data Analysis-4.2 (Health Priority/Economy Priority)