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Public Positions | The Politics of the Pandemic
Every epidemic is always a public health crisis - and more. In the global South in particular, epidemics are always shaped and reshaped by prior "existing conditions", as many commentators have been pointing out: political, economic, institutional or cultural. As a result, the life of an epidemic is always multi-perspectival. In turn, pathways of disease response can never be linear. The challenges of dealing with epidemics and diseases which involve highly dynamic viral-social-political and ecological determinants are always particularly complex. In this PUBLIC POSITIONS Session, Professor Chigudu will discuss several of the key arguments in his book The Political Life of an Epidemic: Cholera, Crisis and Citizenship in Zimbabwe and thereafter offer remarks on the COVID-19 pandemic. He will during the course of the discussion highlight some of the most important themes that mark the politics of epidemics in Africa and globally, from the historical origins of various pandemics to the social patterns of their unfolding and impact; and from the competing interpretations of social experiences of the pandemics to their implications for global politics.

Simukai Chigudu is Associate Professor of African Politics & Fellow of St Antony's College, Oxford Department of International Development at the University of Oxford.

Jul 16, 2020 04:00 PM in Johannesburg

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