Healthcare and public services

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    What a successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign would look like

What a successful COVID-19 vaccination campaign would look like

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A COVID-19 vaccine appears to be the only way out of repeated lockdowns – yet in the UK and US, where trust in governments’ handling of the pandemic is already low, many people are minded to refuse it. Rebecca Forman and Lucy Thompson (LSE) set out what a proactive vaccination campaign would look like.

Since the virus emerged onto the […]

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    Civil rights laws alone aren’t going to help disabled people in a post-COVID America

Civil rights laws alone aren’t going to help disabled people in a post-COVID America

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Thirty years ago, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed by Congress with the aim of addressing the persistent social and economic marginalization of disabled Americans. But, writes David Pettinicchio, weak enforcement and narrow interpretations of the ADA have since limited its effectiveness. He argues that the ADA was only the beginning: now we must extend its values […]

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    While Congress sits on its hands, Presidents are making policy by regulation

While Congress sits on its hands, Presidents are making policy by regulation

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Despite what most of the public may think, the vast majority of policymaking by the federal government comes in the form of rules and regulations rather than through new laws. Using the 2010 Affordable Care Act as a case study, Simon F. Haeder and Susan Webb Yackee write that the move from law-based to regulatory policymaking has given Democratic […]

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    Book Review: The Anthropology of Epidemics by Ann H. Kelly, Frédéric Keck and Christos Lynteris

Book Review: The Anthropology of Epidemics by Ann H. Kelly, Frédéric Keck and Christos Lynteris

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In The Anthropology of Epidemics, editors Ann H. Kelly, Frédéric Keck and Christos Lynteris curate a collection that provides insight into how ethnographic studies of epidemics might challenge the central assumptions of not only anthropology, but social theory writ large. The volume offers a rich exploration into how, and to what end, ethnographic attention to epidemics can extend social […]

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    Book Review: The Cigarette: A Political History by Sarah Milov

Book Review: The Cigarette: A Political History by Sarah Milov

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In The Cigarette: A Political History, Sarah Milov intricately unpacks the historical workings of the US tobacco industry through its interactions with farmers, labourers and social movements to show that it has been more vulnerable and open to challenge than often thought. In revealing how the tobacco industry and tobacco control activists engaged in the institutions of everyday life […]

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    Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

Young people exposed to an epidemic have less trust in political institutions for the rest of their lives

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Poor public health policy leads to deeper distrust, further undermining the effectiveness of public health policy, write Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen and Orkun Saka.

It is widely argued (by, inter alia, Fukyuama 2020) that the keys to success in dealing with COVID-19 are “whether citizens trust their leaders, and whether those leaders preside over a competent and effective state.” By […]

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    What past epidemics tell us about public trust in science — and scientists

What past epidemics tell us about public trust in science — and scientists

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People aged 18 to 25, whose core beliefs are still being formed, are likely to suffer the strongest impact of Covid-19 on their faith in scientists, but not in science, write Cevat Giray Aksoy, Barry Eichengreen and Orkun Saka.

Covid-19 will change everything. One effect, it has been argued, will be to reverse the secular trend of challenging the value […]

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    States with a Democratic governor and women-headed public health agencies were more likely to implement COVID-19 stay-at-home orders earlier

States with a Democratic governor and women-headed public health agencies were more likely to implement COVID-19 stay-at-home orders earlier

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Much of the US response to the COVID-19 pandemic has been the responsibility of state governments, with some issuing stay-at-home orders earlier than others, and some not issuing them at all. In new research which analyses the timing of state stay-at-home orders, Laine P. Shay finds that Democratic states were over 400 percent more likely to implement early stay-at-home […]

Why public trust in the WHO matters

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Public faith in the World Health Organisation has held up so far. But Donald Trump’s efforts to discredit it are damaging not just because they inhibit America’s co-operation with other countries, writes Renu Singh. They also make it less likely that, in the absence of strong domestic leadership, US citizens will trust the WHO enough to follow its recommendations.

As […]

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    Politicians can’t hide behind scientists forever – even in a pandemic

Politicians can’t hide behind scientists forever – even in a pandemic

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It is dangerous when politicians ignore expert advice. But it is just as dangerous when politicians outsource their judgement to experts, especially if the margin of error is huge and the advice is contested, write Tim Besley and Andrés Velasco. Ultimately, it is the job of politicians to make the tough decisions about trade-offs.

It is tempting to describe the […]

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