Book Seminar: “Achieving Access: Professional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism”

The Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future and the Institute for Health System Innovation & Policy invite you to attend an upcoming seminar with Joseph Harris, an Assistant Professor of Sociology and a Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellow, where he will discuss his recent book, Achieving Access: Professional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism. The seminar will take place on Tuesday, September 25 from 12:00 – 1:30 pm at the Pardee Center at 67 Bay State Road.

In the book, published by Cornell University Press in 2017, Prof. Harris explores dynamics that made landmark universal healthcare and AIDS treatment policies possible in Thailand and Brazil but which led to prolonged struggle and contestation in South Africa. While conventional wisdom suggests that democratization empowers the masses, Harris draws attention to an under-appreciated dynamic: that democratization empowers elites from esteemed professions – frequently doctors and lawyers – who forge progressive change on behalf of those in need.

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Joseph Harris is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Boston University and a Faculty Research Fellow at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future. He conducts comparative historical research that lies at the intersection of sociology, political science, and global health. He is author of Achieving Access: Professional Movements and the Politics of Health Universalism (Cornell University Press, 2017). In 2017, he began a Fulbright-funded research project that explores the impact of Thailand’s model public health policies abroad.

Harris has served as a consultant to UNDP and the World Bank (as Specialist on the Political Economy of Health Reform) and is recipient of two Fulbright awards and the Henry Luce Scholarship. He holds a Master’s in Public Affairs from Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and received his doctorate in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He served as Lecturer at the University of Chicago’s School of Public Policy Studies before joining the faculty at BU. In 2017, he was awarded the Gitner Award for Distinguished Teaching. He currently serves as Associate Editor at Social Science and Medicine and was recently elected to the ASA Sociology of Development Section Council.