Accepted Paper:

Into the eye of the Road Safety storm: a eye(and ear)witness account  
Manuel Ramos (ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon)

Paper short abstract:

This paper looks at the distorted way the institutional world of UNRSC perceives the realities of road danger in low-income countries.

Paper long abstract:

In May 2011, the UN has inaugurated the Global Decade of Action for Road Safety. This initiative marked a decisive turn in the institutional views on road danger worldwide, strengthening the WHO epidemiologist concept that road accidents causing injuries and deaths are a public health issue to be dealt medically, or rather through the promotion of metaphorical medical discourses and the putting in place of preventing practices.

The composition, dynamics and negotiation processes of the UNRSC, a mixed UN forum with consultative status for the UN secretary general, impact directly on the national policies connected to the Decade of Action, for it was from such body that this global initiative was funnelled, and it is this body that monitors and evaluates it.

The present paper proposal offers a sneak view of how the UNRSC was involved in bringing low-income countries, regional organisations and NGOs to the Decade of Action initiative, and how difficult it is to gauge the current reality of road risk in the emerging world from the too abstract and formal world which UNRSC partners inhabit.

Panel P09
A new anthropology of automobility