Invitation to "Health and Medicine" in Amsterdam July 2020. Deadline January 24h, 2020

Kathryn Ibata-Arens's picture
Call for Papers
January 24, 2020
Subject Fields: 
Business History / Studies, Economic History / Studies, Government and Public Service, Health and Health Care, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology

Call for Papers

Regulation, Innovation, and Valuation in Markets for Health and Medicines

Mini-Conference in conjunction with annual meeting of the Society for the Advancement of Socio-Economics (SASE) 2020, 18-20 July

University of Amsterdam


The world is experiencing rapid transformations in the development of new approaches to improving human health and the health of communities, healthcare provision, governance over the use and pricing of drugs and medicines, and medical innovations in biotechnology (genomics and stem cell-based therapies). For example, open innovation systems and sharing in the commons have introduced healing medicines and medical innovations (e.g. the Human Genome Project). At the same time, there is growing inequality in who gets access to medical care and medicines, and at what price.


Meanwhile, market competition has in part led to the opioid crisis of addiction in the United States, human subjects abuses in developing countries in the race to develop new drugs, and a decline in the discovery of radical new innovations in medicines for poor populations. This mini-conference aims to convene a group of related panels around issues in global health and medicines, to facilitate useful critical discussion and reflection on participants’ works-in-progress. Driving questions include:


-What theoretical advances are being made in understanding causal mechanisms in improving, or undermining human health and community health, for example, through state policy and firm and organizational strategy? What new frameworks and methods are being developed to identify key actors and explain actions (e.g. improving, or undermining health, broadly defined)?


-What is the evolving role of the state, healthcare systems and professions, and other actors (multilateral bodies, firms, non-profit organizations) in medical and medicine provision and innovation? Are we seeing a shift from traditional dominant blocks (North America and Europe) to new actors (Asia and the Global South)? Likewise, how have states and healthcare organizations been effective (or ineffective, indifferent) in the valuation and pricing of medicines (fair, equitable, and affordable access to life saving medicines)?


-What should be the responsibility, if any, of the global intellectual property rights regime as arbitrated by such powerful organizations as the World Trade Organization and global corporations in monitoring access and benefit sharing of profits resulting from research and development into new drugs and medicines?


-What are the roles for regulation and institutionalization of markets for such boundary-products between medicine and health food as probiotics, herbals, so-called nutraceuticals, and other dietary supplements – in ensuring the health and safety of consumers and patients?


-In what way is current research and policy aiming for “inclusive” innovation (e.g. in healthcare provision, new drug discovery) focused on distributive aspects versus stakeholder inclusion, or both (e.g. under the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs))? What is the relative role for (social) entrepreneurs, large firms, and other actors?


Our mini-conference encourages submissions of papers exploring emerging frameworks and theories, as well as empirically rich original data from the developed and developing world and at various levels of analysis (e.g. local community, firm, state, multilateral institution). Scholars at all levels are welcome. In the spirit of innovation and creativity, the panels will have an interactive workshop format around discussant feedback and moderated audience participation. For more information, contact the co-organizers at or see the SASE 2020 website here: Instructions for submissions here:


In order to submit an abstract create a log in profile in order to access the submission portal. Scroll down to “free account”. No need to join SASE in order to submit a proposal:


Once on the submission page, scroll down to TH13: TH13: Regulation, Innovation, and Valuation in Markets for Health and Medicines, then select Submit Paper.

Contact Info: 

About the mini-conference organizers:

Kathryn Ibata-Arens, PhD

Kathryn Ibata-Arens is Vincent de Paul Professor of Political Economy, DePaul University. A scholar of innovation and entrepreneurship, science and technology policy, and economic development, her most recent book is Beyond Technonationalism: Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Asia. Using the lens of venture start-up firms in China, India, Japan, and Singapore, Beyond Technonationalism finds a new “networked techno-nationalism” guiding national policy and firm-level strategy supporting competitive growth in frontier technologies. In her journal articles, blogs, policy briefings, podcasts, and books Ibata-Arens employs such methods as historical-institutional, policy analysis, and original fieldwork-based case studies, contextualized within global politics and markets. Her current book project is on global intellectual property rights and inclusive innovation in new drug discovery. Ibata-Arens is also researching organizations supporting sustainability of traditional medicine and the plant biodiversity upon which it depends.

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Etienne NOUGUEZ, PhD
Etienne Nouguez is a CNRS researcher at the Center for the Sociology of Organizations (CNRS - Sciences Po Paris). At the crossroads of economic sociology and health sociology, his research focuses on health markets. These markets are approached as complex social organisations combining regulatory agencies, experts, industrialists, health professionals and consumers. But they are also analysed as spaces for evaluation and enhancement in which plural and potentially contradictory conceptions of the value of these products are articulated. After a PhD dissertation on the French markets for generic medicines, he studied the politics of medicines prices setting in France. His current research focuses on how European markets are formed for boundary products between food and drugs, with a particular focus on probiotics. He is also involved in a collective research project on the French Medicines Agency. Combining qualitative and quantitative approaches, these researches shed light on the different processes linking health and market values.

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