Global Health

Manufacturing Inequality: Examining the Racial-Capitalist Logics behind Global Pandemic Vaccine Production

The COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the stark inequities between the Global North and Global South in vaccine production and access. Such inequities are a continuation of asymmetrical power relations rooted in historical racialized processes such as slavery and colonialism and its post-colonial legacies, which led to the subordination of many countries in the Global South. This paper builds on racial capitalism scholarship within studies of the COVID-19 crisis, which critiqued the disproportionate mortality within populations and unequal labor relationships, presenting a novel contribution by thinking through the systemic impacts of racial capitalism on the production of essential medicines, and particularly COVID-19 vaccines, in global health. A deeper understanding of the systemic injustice in the international patent system enables us to center the experiences of the Global South through a re-examination of how international law sustains and encourages the geographic and racial stratification of vaccine manufacturing, which is now largely centralized in the Global North. The paper also calls for changing law and funding structures as mechanisms of reparative justice. While, on the one hand, law plays a role in sustaining racial-capitalist harms, it can also be used as a tool for facilitating reparative justice.

Post-Doctoral and Doctoral Research Fellows: The Legal Dimension of Using Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa

September 23, 2021

The Legal Dimension of Using Data Science for Health Discovery and Innovation in Africa

This research project will investigate five critical themes over a three-year period: (1) modes of informed consent to the use of data; (2) the nature and content of individual and community rights in genomic data; (3) the use of persons' geospatial data for public health surveillance; (4) the cross-border sharing of data; and (5) the use of data as basis for Artificial Intelligence (AI).