The fight against antimicrobial resistance: applying theory to practice


  • Dr Clare Chandler

Project summary

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the greatest threats to life as we know it. Either through dramatic policy change and intense programming, or conversely through inaction, it is set to reconfigure our relationship with medicines and have a profound impact on the possibilities for care and health around the globe. Governments and global agencies recognise this, and priorities in responding to AMR are currently being consolidated within and between nations. Yet, there is a surprising lack of input from the social sciences in the development of these policies.

This project will bring social science theory to bear on AMR to catalyse alternative ways of conceptualising medicine, care and the consequences of (in)action. Relevant thinking from the social sciences’ considerable work on medicine use and global health will help when reviewing current policy and conducting pilot interviews with key actors in the AMR policy process at the global level. This will then inform a research proposal for empirical work in a large, multi-sited programme of ethnographic study of antimicrobial resistance at global, national and local levels.