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Sociology Colloquium, 10/14/2020

October 14, 2020
Wednesday, 12–1:30pm
Zoom session
Meeting ID: 968 1107 6322
Passcode: 761491

If you cannot join with video, you can connect to the Zoom session via phone: 1–346–248–7799

Becoming Brokers: Building Thailand’s Brand in Public Health

Dr. Joseph Harris, Boston University

Joseph HarrisFrom HIV prevention to universal health coverage to coronavirus response, Thailand’s public health policies have garnered international acclaim. What has enabled a resource-constrained country in the Global South to exercise such outsized influence in global public health? What mechanisms have led Thailand’s policies to travel abroad? And more broadly, how does a nation in the global periphery exercise influence in international affairs? Based on Fulbright-funded research conducted in Thailand’s Division of Global Health and the WHO in 2017-18, this talk will examine the organizational basis of Thailand’s success, its relationship to nation branding, and implications for developmental states aspiring to meet the world’s pressing health challenges. Through comparative historical analysis of four policy domains (tobacco control, access to medicine, health technology assessment, and global health diplomacy), I find autonomous non-profit and parastatal organizations to play key roles addressing complex problems and enhancing national reputation, even as they stand apart from a government that reaps the symbolic rewards.