'Critical junctures' are the scandals, crises or conflicts that can throw the status quo and power relations into the air, opening the door to previously unthinkable reforms. In Plagues and the Paradox of Progress, Thomas Bolloky argues that such events include health shocks: 'Encounters with infectious disease have played a key role in the evolution of cities, the expansion of trade routes, the conduct of war and participation in pilgrimages'.
Oslo SDG Blog
It is great to be back in Malawi, where there is considerable political excitement following a recent landmark ruling by the Constitutional court that has received massive attention in large parts of the world.
Managing an epidemic requires tackling the health consequences of the outbreak, as well as its social, political, security, and economic dimensions. This implies setting priorities and making trade-offs between various interests and goals – in short, a lot of politics.
The problem is enormous and growing. The evidence is compelling. Human activity, and our increased consumption of fossil fuels, has resulted in higher temperatures on earth. The best case scenarios of preventing a huge increase in global emissions of CO2 is already looking unrealistic.
Mega-quarantines, large hospitals built within a week, and sharing information with the global scientific community! The outbreak of the coronavirus (nCov2019) in China that has infected thousands of people and killed over 100, provides an illustrative example of the challenges facing the powerful Chinese state as it strives to contain the epidemic within its borders while limiting the effects of “stagflation” and further damage to its reputation abroad.
Oslo SDG blog
A blog by the Oslo SDG Initiative.