Sectors Symposia

Sectors publishes symposium articles that focus on topics of interest related to the study of sociology of development. Each issue’s symposium topic and links to each article appear below.

Spring 2021

Symposium: Global Inequities in Covid-19 Vaccine Testing, Production and Distribution

While life may be “returning to normal” throughout much of the United States, the COVID-19 pandemic continues to cripple many parts of the Global South, in large part due to stark cross-national disparities in vaccine roll-out. As of June 2021, over 51% of adults in the United States have received at least one dose. Yet, the world average hovers at only 12%, and in dozens of countries the vaccination rate is below 1%. Although the trend is shifting, the world’s 27 wealthiest countries, which contain around 10.5% of the global population, still account for over 25% of all COVID-19 vaccinations. The pernicious effects of global vaccine inequities may be evident, but their causes remain open to debate. To what extent have corporate profit motives and “vaccine hoarding” generated an economy of scarcity in the Global South? To what extent have partisan infighting and weak state capacity contributed to low vaccination rates? Is vaccine hesitancy driven by reasonable skepticism or intentional disinformation campaigns? And, how have specific forms of US imperialism and economic warfare impacted the global distribution of vaccines and people’s access to them? This special Sectors symposium addresses some of these questions by examining the hows and whys of COVID-19 vaccine roll-out in four countries: China (Li), Brazil (Flynn), India (Jalali), and Kenya (Chorev and Mutwafy).

Jeb Sprague, Preethi Krishnan, and Leslie MacColman: “Introduction to the Symposium

Lantian Li: “Brief on China: COVID-19 Testing and the Production, Distribution, and Export of Vaccines

Matthew Flynn “Politics, Ideology, and Poor Planning in Brazil’s Bumpy COVID-19 Vaccine Rollout

Rita Jalali: “Ineptitude and misplaced priorities define India’s Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Nitsan Chorev and Salma Mutwafy: “Innovation contests, vaccine diplomacy, and health nationalism: The case of Kenya

Fall 2020

Symposium: U.S. Wars on Negatively Racialized Working People

How do the policies of the United States government undermine development for negatively racialized working and marginalized people? In the articles below, the authors examine this question in international and domestic arenas. Justin Podur considers how sanctions and economic war carried out by the U.S. have wrought havoc upon a wide variety of mostly global south populations. Importantly, many sanctions have been ratcheted up during the Covid-19 pandemic. Podur also notes how UN sanctions need to be understood as leading to even more human suffering and mass death when they are applied upon a country. Salvador Rangel and Jamella N. Gow look domestically at how negatively racialized black and brown workers in the United States have suffered under the Coronavirus. They point out how U.S. federal government policies consistently side with industry owners over workers. They look at the example of meatpacking plants.

Justin Podur, “Sanctions as a weapon targeting development

Salvador Rangel and Jamella N. Gow, “The Economy vs. The People: Capitalism & Essential Labor in the Pandemic

Spring 2020

Symposium: Reflections on the COVID-19 Pandemic

Catherine van de Ruit, “Covid 19: Lessons from the sociology of AIDS

Silpa Satheesh, “Break the Chain”: Exploring the Kerala Model of Pandemic Response

Joseph Harris, “The Novel Coronavirus and the Generation of New Sociological Knowledge

Fall 2019

Symposium: Gender in the Era of Global Studies

What does development mean in today’s world? Is there such a thing as “national development” under globalization? How can we see development studies in light of the rise to prominence of global studies? How is development changing under today’s socio-economic conditions, and in regards to various institutions and different exploited, racialized, and gendered social strata? Sociologists studying development tackle a variety of structural problems faced by diverse communities. In the two essays in this symposium, M.S. Sreerekha, Rosalba Icaza, Jeb Sprague, and Hilbourne Watson provide some brief thoughts on the fundamental characteristics of development in today’s era of globalization.

Sreerekha Sathi and Rosalba Icaza , “Gender, Development and the Global

Jeb Sprague and Hilbourne Watson, “Development and Global Capitalism