2009 Grantees

Lisa A. Eckenwiler – “Caregiving in the Context of Globalization: Migrant Care Workers and Transnational Justice”

Allison Macfarlane – “Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries: International Security Implications”

Tony Samara – “Transnational Urban Governance and the Mega-Event: A Comparative Study of Cape Town, New Delhi & Shanghai”

Y. Tony Yang – “Ethical, Legal, and Policy Challenges in DNA Biobanking: Constructing Pivotal Infrastructure for Taiwan”

Back to Research Support

 

Project Descriptions

 
Lisa A. Eckenwiler

Associate Professor
Department of Philosophy
Associate Professor
Department of Health Administration and Policy
Director of Health Care Ethics
Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics

“Caregiving in the Context of Globalization: Migrant Care Workers and Transnational Justice

According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development “migration played a more important role in shaping the medical workforce over the last ten years than it has, on average, since the 1970s.” Especially troubling from a global health perspective is that compared to previous decades, these workers are increasingly likely to come from low-income countries and from countries with a low supply of health workers, and to migrate to high income countries. This project will explore the ethical implications of the transnational flow of health workers.  It will particularly focus on nurses and direct care workers (DCWs) coming from the global South to the United States (U.S.), which is now the largest importer of nurses and other care workers in the world.  Nurses and DCWs are arguably the most essential members of the health workforce, serving on the front lines in providing basic health services and also long-term care, the need for which is growing rapidly around the world and, and indeed, contributing to the transnational migration of such workers.  This study aims to show that care work is structured, transnationally, in a way that creates and sustains injustice against care workers and those in need of care in the global South as well as in the affluent U.S.  It then argues for an approach to transnational justice with the potential to promote justice for these populations, including the potential to help remedy global health inequities.

Back to Top

 
Allison Macfarlane

Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Science and Policy

“Emerging Nuclear Energy Countries: International Security Implications”

Prompted by discussions of a “global nuclear renaissance,” a number of countries that currently do not have nuclear power programs are actively seeking to build them.  The countries include the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, Turkey, Israel, Kazakhstan, Vietnam, Thailand, Bangladesh, and Indonesia.  This project seeks to analyze the discourse around exploring, proposing, and planning nuclear power programs in these countries to more fully understand the motivations to acquire this technology in the context of international relations.  Is nuclear energy technology acquisition simply a hedge to get nuclear weapons?  There are certainly justifiable energy needs in these countries as well as a professed desire to provide electricity while reducing carbon dioxide emissions.  Are these reasons enough to acquire this technology? This project will use discourse analysis of published and publicly available material about and by actors in these countries to meet its goals.  The funding will allow the attendance of a nuclear energy conference to discuss these issues directly with presenters and observers from interested countries, as well as the presentation of the findings of this work and the research help of an undergraduate or graduate student.  Project funding will be seed funding for a larger grant from the National Science Foundation for a project that more fully considers the issue of “emerging nuclear energy countries” and embedded questions.

Back to Top

 
Tony Samara
Assistant Professor
Department of Sociology and Anthropology

“Transnational Urban Governance and the Mega-Event: A Comparative Study of Cape Town, New Delhi & Shanghai”

This project is a comparative study of mega-events and urban governance in Cape Town, South Africa, New Delhi, India, and Shanghai, China. In 2010 Cape Town will host a number of soccer matches for the World Cup, including one of the semi-finals, New Delhi will host the Commonwealth Games, and Shanghai will host the World Expo. Although these are cultural events of a relatively short duration, each of them is, at the same time, explicitly marketed as an urban development project that will leave a lasting socioeconomic legacy. In light of the developmental aspirations and claims made by the proponent of mega-events, it is appropriate to ask to what extent these projects can in fact act as mechanisms of development in cities of the global South, where the urban development challenges are, and will remain, greatest. The research explores the following themes: the processes through which cities prepare for mega-events, the relationship of the mega-event to socioeconomic development for vulnerable urban populations, and, finally, the significance of mega-events for understanding emerging models and practices of urban governance in cities of the global South. The hypothesis guiding the research is that neoliberalization at the level of the city constitutes part of a transnational process that impacts urban spaces and populations around the world in remarkably similar ways, although the form it takes often varies according to place. Both the content and form of these transformations have important implications for urban development and governance in majority-poor cities. Research on the topic suggests that while transnational urban neoliberalism can decrease differences between cities, it simultaneously deepens differences within cities. The comparative study is therefore an important step in mapping out emerging forms of transnational urban governance in a rapidly urbanizing world.

Back to Top

 
Y. Tony Yang

Assistant Professor
Department of Health Administration and Policy

“Ethical, Legal, and Policy Challenges in DNA Biobanking: Constructing Pivotal
Infrastructure for Taiwan”

Biobanks are repositories for genetic information derived either directly from patients or indirectly from stored tissue sources. In recent years, government and the private sector have invested in biobanks for a number of reasons. Population biobanks have been established to explore the relationship between genetic variation and disease in human populations. Biobanks have also been established to support criminal investigation and by the military. This project outlines a comprehensive strategy to address the ethical, legal, social and policy challenges raised by human biorepositories. It proposes the first steps in a “bioethics infrastructure” to underpin DNA biobanking in Taiwan–urgently in need of a national model–and could therefore potentially unite bioethics, law and genomics researchers in Taiwan and the US. Additionally, this study will break new ground because it goes beyond the current efforts of appointing panels of expert advisors in order address ethical concerns in biobanking. First, this project includes an empirical component. It will collect detailed information about the moral and practical concerns of potential biobank participants in Taiwan, consisting of in-depth, open-ended interviews with 75 individuals. Second, the study will focus on formal Community Consultation with residents of Taipei City in order to cope with the need of open, democratic practices to guide biobank activities. Third, this project will integrate in-depth research on the legal and regulatory constraints affecting biobanks. The findings, which will be published in a report, will be beneficial for normative deliberations of key stakeholders, including genomics researchers, bioethicists, legal scholars, representatives of disease advocacy groups, community groups, and members of the Taiwan biobusiness community.

Back to Top