SASE 2023

MC 6: A Future for Health: Policies, Organizations, and Practices within Market and Social Transformations

20-22 July 2023 @ Federal University of Rio de Janeiro – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Organized by Larry Au, Kathryn Ibata-Arens, Wan-Zi Lu, and Étienne Nouguez

More on the conference:

Deadline for Submission: Feb 1, 2023

The future of health and wellbeing for individuals and communities is at a turning point. From  pandemics, climate change, and social movements, to a reckoning over the current model of socio economic development: markets and societies around the world are transforming into new socio economic arrangements with profound implications for the future of health. At the same time, policy  actors, activists, and private interests are leading these transformations, prompting renewed urgency  for social scientific empirical analysis and grounded theorizing. For instance, social movements  centered around access to medicines have demanded that equity be the prime consideration in the  distribution of medicines, while activists have called for inclusion of patient perspectives in the  production of knowledge around disease conditions. Likewise, increased scrutiny over the model of  socio-economic development that prioritizes growth above all else has called into question the  marketization of healthcare that has become cost prohibitive to patients. 

Such global transformations have implications for all levels of economy and society. In anticipating  and preparing for a future for health, we must examine the international, state, and local level policies,  organizations, and practices that are leading these transformations. For example, we can look at how  policies around open innovation in the regulation and development of medicines help bring down the  costs of healthcare and make life-saving medicines accessible to the broader public. Similarly, we can  examine how health organizations and professions are creating new ways to engage with the  communities that they serve, as well as planning for resiliency for future shocks and disturbances.  Finally, we can also focus on the health practices of individuals and patients, as they strive for a  healthier future. As scholars of socio-economics, political economy and like-minded peers, we too  have a role to play in examining and charting this future for health. 

The MedHealth mini-conference convenes interdisciplinary panels around policies, organizations, and  practices that are impacting the health and wellbeing of individuals and communities amidst broader  social transformations. We will facilitate critical discussion and reflection on participants’ works-in progress. Some potential questions include: 

  • Healthcare systems and health policies: Why are some healthcare systems more resilient than  others when facing social and economic shocks? What must be done to bridge the gap in equity  and access between the Global North and the Global South? How can healthcare systems better  prepare for future pandemics? What are some alternative health policies that can aid in the  reduction of healthcare costs?
  • Healthcare organizations and professions: How have jurisdictional struggles between  healthcare professions produced alternative arrangements of healthcare? What are some of the  strategies that healthcare organizations have adopted to confront the challenges posed by social  and economic transformations? Why has mistrust in medical expertise increased in recent years,  and what can be done by medical experts to earn trust? 
  • Medicines regulation and development: How has open innovation disrupted previous models of drug and treatment development? What alternatives are available for a more just and equitable  distribution of medicines? How can and should we regulate such boundary-spanning products as  probiotics and herbal medicinals? 
  • Health practices: How have individuals and communities adapted their health practices in recent  years in response to broader social transformations? What are some strategies that patients and  publics have taken up to adapt to the rising costs of healthcare and medicines? Why have  complementary and alternative medicines become more popular amongst certain patient groups  and patient movements? 

The MedHealth mini-conference encourages submissions of papers exploring emerging frameworks  and theories, as well as empirically rich original data from around the world and at various levels of  analysis (e.g., local community, firm, state, multilateral institution). Scholars at all levels are welcome.  In the spirit of innovation and creativity, the panels will have an interactive workshop format around  discussant feedback and moderated audience participation. 

Mini-Conference Sessions (Preliminary Program, details to be finalized in June)

Virtual Paper Session: “Givers” and “Receivers”: Entrepreneurial Business Ethics and the Moral Economy of Health and Medicine

Time: July 11th, 16-17:30 CET

Moderator: Victor Roy

  • Larry Au, Long Covid in Brazil and the United States
  • Benjamin Hunter, Global Transformations and the Future of National Healthcare Systems: The Moral Making of the New ‘Global’ NHS
  • Anne Moyal, Physicians as institutional entrepreneurs: the role of general practitioners in the development of multi-professional healthcare homes in France

Virtual Author-Meets-Critics Session: “Capitalizing a Cure: How Finance Controls the Price and Value of Medicines” by Victor Roy (University of California Press, 2023)

Time: July 11th, 18-19:30 CET

Moderator: Benjamin Hunter

Author: Victor Roy, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

  • Critic: Larry Au, City College of New York, New York, NY, USA
  • Critic: Alya Guseva, Boston University, Boston, MA, USA
  • Critic: Etienne Nouguez, SciencesPo/CNRS, France

Sharing versus Shareholders in Healthcare and Medicines

Time: July 20th, 10:30-12:00

Moderator: Larry Au

  • Kathryn Ibata-Arens, The Moral Economy of Innovation for Drugs and Medicines: Patent or Not to Patent?
  • Krystallia Moysidou, Inducing Collective Action for Healthcare Reform Through Medical Crowdfunding in the Us
  • John Rudnik, They came to our kingdom because they were drawn to the mission’: Care and Critique in the Platform Economy
  • Travis Whitfill, The Financialization of Biopharma: The Impact of Financial Strategies and Financialization on Innovation

Medical Organizations and Institutions in Flux: Politics of Health Policy

Time: July 20th, 15:00-16:00

Moderator: Simon Turner

  • Mohammed Abdullahi, Migration of medical professionals: A new perspective from Nigerian doctors working in the UK
  • Audrey Harroche, The Covid-19 crisis through the lens of the French academic reforms. The case of the hydroxychloroquine controversy.
  • Joseph Harris, Regional Worlds of Benefit Package Expansion? The Neglected Politics of Health Technology Assessment
  • Sangeet Jain, The role of industry-academic collaboration as a determinant of firm-level innovation in crisis: Lessons from India’s Covid-19 pandemic experience’
  • Rosalind Warner, The Politics of Global Health Security Governance  

Transforming Power-Authority Relations: Emerging Alternatives to Hierarchy

Time: July 21st, 10:30-12:00

Moderator: Kathryn Ibata-Arens

  • Niko Block; David Calnitsky, The Responsiveness of Abortion Policy: A Cross-national Analysis
  • Elizabeth Pfeffer, How Parties Price: The Democratic Governance of Drug Spending
  • Jonathan Shaffer; Victor Roy, Enacting Real Utopias for Health  
  • Simon Turner, “Everything was much more dynamic”: The Complex Temporal Processes of Health System Responses to Covid-19 in Colombia  
  • Maria Weickardt Soares, Inequalities in socially excluded areas – a frame analysis of Bolsonaro’s COVID-19 politics in Brazilian favelas  

Future Communities: Epistemic Networks and Institutional Ecologies

Time: July 21st, 15:00-16:30

Moderator: Jonathan Shaffer

  • Nathalia Alves, Pharmaceutical Networks and Public Policies to Build and Strengthen the Productive and Innovative Capabilities of the Economic Industrial Health Complex in Brazil
  • Larry Au, Towards a Global Scientific Field: Transnational Scientific Networks in Precision Medicine
  • Chang Liu, “Health Care for the People”: An Ecological Analysis of The Barefoot Doctor Program during China’s Cultural Revolution  
  • Maria Weickardt Soares, Elitism in Global Health Governance: a Discourse Network Analysis on Health Data Inequality in the World Health Organization