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Accepted Paper:

Financializing Pandemics: Unpacking the Social Determinants of World Bank's Pandemic Bonds in the Context of COVID-19  
Jenna Randolph (University of Bologna)

Paper short abstract:

This paper investigates how the financialization of pandemic risk through World Bank bonds interacts with socio-ecological variables. The paper aims to bridge the gap between high-level social variables identified in ethnographic studies and nuanced environmental conditions.

Paper long abstract:

The World Bank's Pandemic Emergency Financing Facility (PEF) introduced groundbreaking pandemic bonds to address pandemic risks. This paper examines the interplay of private financial capital during the COVID-19 pandemic, drawing insights from ethnographic fieldwork in Washington D.C. and Senegal. The study explores the nexus of various actors—World Bank, investors, governments, implementing partners, health systems, and communities—brought together through the financialization of pandemic risk.

Aligned with the panel's theme on recognizing social determinants in environmental health, the research investigates how the financialization of pandemic risk through World Bank bonds interacts with socio-ecological variables. It goes beyond simplistic conceptualizations of 'the social,' addressing the complexity of environmental conditions in everyday life. By considering the dynamic interplay of socio-ecological variables, the paper aims to bridge the gap between high-level social variables identified in epidemiological studies and nuanced environmental conditions revealed through ethnographic research.

The analysis explores the relationships produced by World Bank pandemic bonds, examining their impact on urban/rural/developing environments, climates, and health. By scrutinizing collaboration within this financial framework, the study contributes to the ongoing discourse on biosocial research. Aligned with the panel's focus on transdisciplinary engagement, it emphasizes the need for more nuanced, collaborative approaches to examine the socio-environmental. The paper aims to illuminate how anthropology can enhance biosocial epidemiologic and biomedical research, fostering more effective interventions and policy frameworks for ecological health.

Panel P108
Biosocial approaches to health and environment
  Session 1