In this article, I explore the limits of magic-bullet approaches to global health problems and show how people-centered initiatives challenge economic and human rights orthodoxies and enlarge our sense of what is socially possible and desirable. I draw from my long-term ethnographic study of the Brazilian therapeutic response to HIV/AIDS and its repercussions through government, markets, health systems and personal lives. I also report on a new comparative project on the aftermath of large-scale pharmaceutical interventions in resource-poor settings. Attending to both larger processes and to human singularities, the article opens a critical window into the values and the real-life outcomes of contemporary pharmaceutical and humanitarian interventions. As I critique institutional evidence-making practices I also reconsider anthropology and medicine's notions of responsibility and care.
|Number of pages
|Published - 2011
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Global health
- Social theory