Hierarchy, Construction, or Mentality: Capacity-Limiting Government Actions in the 2008 Sichuan Earthquake of China

  • Sun, Jingran (Department of Public Administration, University of North Texas) ;
  • Li, Xiangyu (Department of Political Science and Criminal Justice, West Texas A&M University)
  • Published : 2015.10.31


Many people criticized how the Chinese government responded to the Wenchuan Earthquake. They focused on how it failed to address the psychological needs of the survivors. The study presented here approached this issue from a human resources perspective. It was determined that the Chinese government approached the situation in a bureaucratic way that limited the government's capacity and barred non-profit organizations and community groups from participating. It was also found that survivors could not contact these organizations for psychological support. This study concludes that the situation called for a more flexible and improvised institution that would respond to the emerging needs of survivors.



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