At a time when ‘development’—the notion that bureaucratic, secular government will lead to unprecedented prosperity—has for many lost its appeal, religion provides alternative ways of organizing society and politics and of thinking about the world.
The concept of the moral failure of the poor which was rooted in pre-colonial European assumptions, and modern American racism had become intimately entwined. Attitudes toward the poor in the 1960's simply reflected the knowledge, concerns, problems, and prejudices of the day. (Author)
Focuses on the leadership of Polish Prime Minister General Wojciech Jaruzelski during the 1980s. Claims made by the leader's camp of the degree of stability and normalization achieved by the country in 1981; Issues of democracy, political participation and justice raised by the Solidarity party.
"The global climate change regime . . . . was once considered an elegant, ground-breaking area of multinational environmental law [but] is now looking decidedly complex, increasingly weary, and, to some, unfit for its purpose."
"The September 11 attack has created a resolve in America and elsewhere to a end terror everywhere. But the history of terror does not inspire much confidence that this determination will be successful."
Although Taiwan, missile proliferation, missile defense, and the American military presence in Asia and Central Asia have the potential to upset Sino-American relations over the next year, the current stability is reason for cautious optimism. … Neither country needs or seeks a deterioration of relations or a return to the roller coaster of the 1990s. Indeed, both are otherwise preoccupied.
Like other African nations, Sierra Leone seemed to avoid the worst pandemic scenarios. Its previous experience with Ebola may have led to improved preparedness in the health system. But the government has once again reverted to a militarized response, and elites returning from international travel may pose a risk of spreading the coronavirus. The author also reflects on the challenges of tracking the situation from afar, in the midst of a global crisis, and critically assesses Western media coverage of African public health issues.
Nineteenth-century English novelist Mary Shelley wrote a dystopian novel about a global pandemic. From her reading about the connections between wars and plagues, and her personal exposure to wars in Europe and the loss of loved ones to infectious diseases, she came to a conclusion shared by other writers, from the ancient Greek historian Thucydides to analysts of the COVID-19 pandemic: politics is a root cause of deadly contagions.
Many countries in the global South have rapidly aging populations. The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially hard on older adults in these countries, who mainly depend on kin for care. The pandemic has shown that a recommitment to public investment in their well-being is needed.
Densely populated informal housing has mushroomed in formerly segregated South African townships, attracting migrants who survive on the edges of the economy, excluded from basic services. In the pandemic, they have been even more vulnerable, unable to practice social distancing and forced to continue with marginal work such as scavenging to eke out a living. Drawing on interviews with residents of a Johannesburg settlement, the authors emphasize how urban space structures inequalities in every aspect of everyday life, requiring a new approach to city planning and governance with a focus on justice.
South Korea and Taiwan effectively suppressed the coronavirus without the authoritarian measures imposed in China or the lockdowns used elsewhere. They responded quickly, communicated clearly and consistently about the threat. Both governments had prior experiences with contagions to prepare for an epidemic. And both states had introduced universal health care during their periods of democratization, shaping a consensus among citizens about equity, solidarity, and the role of government in protecting public health. Their strategies provide replicable and repeatable models.
The COVID-19 pandemic has taken a devastating toll on the lives of older adults, intensifying long-standing challenges in the US health care system. Persistent health and mortality disparities on the basis of race and socioeconomic status, staffing shortages and insufficient financial resources at some nursing homes, and a reluctance among Americans to make formal plans for their end-of-life health care are problems of heightened magnitude in the pandemic era. Policy solutions like extending Medicare benefits to younger people, increasing Medicaid reimbursement rates, and facilitating formal conversations regarding end-of-life care may help Americans to age and die with dignity.
China faced the arrival of COVID-19 armed with new infrastructure, tools, and personnel that it had developed as part of a nationwide overhaul of its public health system in the wake of the 2003 SARS epidemic. The country learned two major lessons from SARS: it needed to increase its scientific professionalism and transparency, and it needed to build upon the successes of its authoritarian disease control capabilities. These two lessons were on full display during China’s COVID-19 response. The goals and methods they implied were sometimes in contradiction with each other, however, and ultimately they failed to prevent a catastrophic pandemic.