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Accepted Paper:

Politics and affects of vaccine hesitancy in post-austerity Greece.  
Letizia Bonanno (University of Manchester)

Paper short abstract:

The paper explores the role that affects and emotions play during socio-political and economic turmoil, and how they often inform people's attitude towards state-led public health campaigns.

Paper long abstract:

In Greece, negative opinions about vaccines have been exacerbated in the context of populism and political polarisation after a decade of economic austerity. The 2008 economic crisis and its consequences on the organisation of health care resources and infrastructures and the revelations of corruption of both doctors and international pharmaceutical corporations have fuelled citizens’ distrust towards state institutions, doctors and public health interventions. As more restrictions are placed on those who refuse to vaccinate against Covid-19, uncanny alliances between far-right supporters, segments of the anarchist movement, far-left parties and the Orthodox church have unfolded, uniting against the “repressive” state that has transformed issues of public health into a matter of public order (Lynteris 2016). While surveys have extensively assessed individual attitudes and concerns about immunization risks and benefits (Kourlaba et al. 2021; Dardalas et al. 2020; Larson et al. 2018; Larson et al. 2016), I draw from anthropological scholarship that highlights the potential of affects and emotions as heuristics to investigate the political (Stewart 2007). In considering affects as a point of encounter between subjectivity, languages and the materiality of state-practices (Laszczkowski and Reeves 2015;Jansen 2014; Navaro -Yashin 2012; Aretxaga 2003, 2005), I ask what emotions, affects and imaginations of the body, self and the state underpin the differential uptake of vaccines in Greece. And I do so by exploring the multiple dimensions of vaccines as both biomedical technologies of governance and medical objects charged with affectivities, capable of (un)making both the social and political.

Panel P18a
Technopolitics, biopolitics and algorithmic governance: Cultures of resistance and countercultures of disbelief during the SARS-CovII pandemic
  Session 1 Tuesday 7 June, 2022, -