Beyond Global Health?: Panel Discussion

Panel discussion on ‘Beyond Global Health?: Diasporic Perspectives on Health and Social Justice’ [Critical Humanities event]. It was moderated by Baidik Bhattacharya. The panelists included Sabina Leonelli, Kaushik Sunder Rajan, Thomas Cousins, Michelle Pentecost.



In August 2020, WHO Director Tedros Ghebreyesus insisted that "No one is safe until everyone is safe.” A year into the COVID-19 pandemic, what has happened to the relationship between scientific knowledge production, governance, and social justice? How do various forms of data, and their associated technologies and politics, support or undermine democratic institutions in very different parts of the world? As vaccine nationalism and economic hardship threaten to undermine the fight against COVID-19, how might we cultivate and strengthen a creative politics of solidarity and justice within and beyond our national contexts?

The global COVID-19 pandemic has generated new crises, both political and economic, but it has also revealed and amplified more enduring questions that have confronted democratic politics for some time. In this discussion, we reflect on key themes emerging from the multifaceted crises coalescing around COVID-19 concerning health, scientific knowledge, governance and justice. By thinking from our various diasporic locations (India, South Africa, the USA, the UK/EU), we are interested to think with and beyond existing global health norms and institutions, and raise questions about constitutionalism, data regulation, intergenerational justice, and transnational forms of solidarity. 


Sabina Leonelli is Professor in Philosophy and History of Science at the University of Exeter, where she co-directs the Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences (Egenis). 

Kaushik Sunder Rajan is Professor of Anthropology and Co-Director, Chicago Center for Contemporary Theory at the University of Chicago.

Thomas Cousins is Associate Professor in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford, and Tutorial Fellow in Human Sciences at St Hugh's College.

Michelle Pentecost is Lecturer in Global Health and Social Medicine and a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow at King's College London.


Baidik Bhattacharya is Associate Professor at Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi.

Friday, 12 February 2021, 9 pm, Zoom