Pinned Publication

CompCoRe Interim Report

January 2021
Sheila Jasanoff, Stephen Hilgartner, J. Benjamin Hurlbut, Onur Özgöde, Margarita Rayzberg

This 121-page report is the first major publication of Comparative Covid Response: Crisis, Knowledge, Politics (CompCoRe) – a cross-national study of the policy responses of 16 countries across five continents. It provides a preliminary distillation of the study’s initial findings. Led by a team based at Harvard, Cornell and Arizona State Universities, CompCoRe is a collaborative undertaking involving more than 60 researchers from around the world. Read more

Was “science” on the ballot?

February 2021
Vol. 371, Issue 6532, pp. 893-894. DOI: 10.1126/science.abf8762

Stephen Hilgartner, J. Benjamin Hurlbut, Sheila Jasanoff

On 7 November 2020, moments before Kamala Harris and Joe Biden began their victory speeches, giant screens flanking the stage proclaimed, “The people have chosen science.” Yet, nearly 74 million Americans, almost half the voters, had cast their ballots for Donald Trump, thereby presumably not choosing science. Prominent scientists asserted that “science was on the ballot” and lamented that “a significant portion of America doesn’t want science” (1) Read more

CompCoRe Synthesis Report

January 2021
Sheila Jasanoff, Stephen Hilgartner, Wilmot James, Lyal White

This short report draws on two studies—the CompCoRe Interim Report and a report by our African affiliate—that together include 23 countries on six continents. It provides preliminary insights into why COVID-19 has produced different outcomes in different places, how policymakers can better manage national responses in the months ahead, and what we must do to strengthen national and global systems for future health emergencies. Read more

Pathologies of Liberty: Public Health Sovereignty and the Political Subject in the Covid-19 Crisis

Cahiers Droit, Sciences & Technologies
Vol 11, 2020, pp. 125-149. DOI: 10.4000/cdst.2252

Sheila Jasanoff

This paper discusses the diverse grounds on which litigation during the Covid-19 pandemic tested the nature and limits of power in a public health system that has long functioned like a state within a state. The pandemic revealed a tension between human beings as biomedical subjects, more acted upon than acting, and as social and political subjects, more acting than acted upon. In the regime of what this paper calls public health sovereignty, people are required to observe potentially severe restraints on liberty in the name of the common good and are governed by the disciplinary mechanisms of biopower described by Michel Foucault. Read more

Trouble in the trough: how uncertainties were downplayed in the UK’s science advice on Covid-19

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications
Vol 7, Article number: 122. DOI: 10.1057/s41599-020-00612-w

Warren Pearce

The 2020 Covid-19 pandemic has forced science advisory institutions and processes into an unusually prominent role, and placed their decisions under intense public, political and media scrutiny. In the UK, much of the focus has been on whether the government was too late in implementing its lockdown policy, resulting in thousands of unnecessary deaths. Some experts have argued that this was the result of poor data being fed into epidemiological models in the early days of the pandemic, resulting in inaccurate estimates of the virus’s doubling rate. Read more

Global Health and Planetary Health: Perspectives for a transition to a more sustainable world

Cien Saude Colet
September, 2021. ORCID:

Gabriela Marques Di Giulio et al.

The manuscript discusses interfaces between academic and practical fields of Global Health and Planetary Health, shedding light on some critical perspectives of cumulative and synergistic causes of global crises, and effects on health and food security, on human rights, on migration, and on environment. Concepts of Global Health and Planetary Health and the path for the Sustainable Development Goals -SDG in the context of the Syndemy of Global Crisis, in particular the COVID-19 pandemic, are presented. Read more

Global Health and Planetary Health: Perspectives for a transition to a more sustainable world

in Technology Assessment and Global Technology Governance


Marko Monteiro et al.

This chapter is part of a cooperation involving the members of the Global Technology Assessment Network (, a network of institutions working together to reflect on global forms of governing technologies. The chapter proposes principles for global governance of emerging bio risks and ways to increase resilience to withstand future risks.

The making of a Swedish strategy: How organizational culture shaped the Public Health Agency’s pandemic response

SSM – Qualitative Research in Health
Volume 2, December 2022

Tobias Olofsson, Shai Mulinari, Maria Hedlund, Åsa Knaggård, Andreas Vilhelmsson

Several suggestions have been made as to why Sweden’s approach to managing the COVID-19 pandemic came to rely on a strategy based on voluntary measures. Two of the most prominent explanations for why the country chose a different strategy than many other countries have focused on micro- and macro-level factors, explaining the strategy either in terms of the psychologies of prominent actors or by pointing to particularities in Swedish constitutional law. Read more

Making models into public objects

in Being Human During COVID-19 (Bristol University Press)

Rokia Ball and Warren Pierce
When the UK government switched its COVID-19 strategy from mitigation to suppression on 17 March, it seemed a case of ‘new data, new policy’. News reports cited how modelling from Imperial College’s Centre for Global Infectious Disease projected between 410,000– 500,000 deaths, prompting the government to implement stringent lockdown policies, and upending the UK’s political economy. Unsurprisingly, given the stakes involved, public debates about government policies and their effects have been intense. Read more

Legal and ethical issues of COVID-19 ‘Digital Contact Tracing’ measures in Taiwan

Taiwan Journal of Public Health
40(3): 332-345. DOI: 10.6288/TJPH.202106_40(3).109085

Yu-Ling Huang and Cheng-Chung Lo

COVID-19 has posed unprecedented challenges to governments and civil society worldwide. Before effective treatments and vaccines become available, nonpharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), including digital contact tracing technologies, are critical for delaying or controlling the spread of COVID-19. This paper investigates the practices, discussions, and legal and ethical issues of the contact tracing measures imposed in Taiwan during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read more

Communication, Connection, and Care: The Mobilization of COVID-19 Community Prevention Network

Taiwanese Journal for Studies of Science, Technology, and Medicine
30: 267-279

Yu-Ling Huang et al.

A Stress Test for Politics: A Comparative Perspective on Policy Responses to Covid-19

in Routledge Handbook of Law and the COVID-19 Pandemic (Routledge)

Sheila Jasanoff and Stephen Hilgartner

The Discontents of Truth and Trust in 21st Century America


Sheila Jasanoff

“Preparedness” Won’t Stop the Next Pandemic”

Boston Review
December 8, 2021

Sheila Jasanoff

The COVID-19 pandemic has confounded the world’s expectations at every turn. It began in surprise, continued with chaos, and devolved into conspiracy theories. From a policy standpoint, it gave the lie to our prepandemic imaginations of order and control. Public health experts, after all, had warned of an outbreak for decades. Read more

Dataset: COVID-19 epidemic policy and events timeline (Sweden)

Data in Brief
Volume 40, February 2022, 107698

Tobias Olofsson and Andreas Vilhelmsson

The Swedish approach to managing the 2020-2021 COVID-19 pandemic has received significant attention in international scholarly work and press. For this dataset, we have reviewed governmental and media archives to build a detailed timeline that chronicles significant policies, interventions, and events in the Swedish management of COVID-19. The dataset contains summary descriptions of what took place, when it happened, and who the principal actors involved were. Links to primary sources are provided for each entry. Because of the level of detail and saturation, the dataset offers a detailed account of Swedish pandemic governance and will benefit anyone working on Swedish pandemic management or doing comparative work between Sweden and other jurisdictions.

© CompCoRe Network