Uncovering the politics behind a pandemic

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The latest paper led by UCSC Global & Community Health Executive Director and Politics Professor Matt Sparke points to neoliberalism as a contributor to the causes and impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. Sparke and his coauthor, health policy researcher Owain Williams, gather findings from a global body of social science and public health research in their article “Neoliberal disease: COVID-19, co-pathogenesis and global health insecurities.” 

Neoliberalism is an approach to government that prioritizes free-market capitalism, and its focus on market-based freedoms, rules, and incentives has become dominant around the world since the 1970s. Though neoliberalism is commonly thought of as being associated with growth and freedom, Sparke says neoliberal goals often come at the expense of societal well-being and freedom from vulnerability. The coronavirus pandemic has made this especially clear, he argues, and the paper explores that concept. 

“A…

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