Strauss Center Senior Fellow Joshua Busby and Prof. Ethan Kapstein have been awarded a $200,000 grant by the Merck Company Foundation to conduct a project on “The Grand Bargain: How the International Community Responded to HIV/AIDS.” Busby and Kapstein will explore why drug treatment based on differential pricing of retroviral drugs emerged as the policy solution of choice in dealing with HIV/AIDS and whether this policy response will prove durable over the long term.
The international community’s policy of placing a growing number of AIDS patients on drug treatment has been an undoubted success; indeed, an exceptional success in the annals of world politics. With the establishment of several public and philanthropic organizations whose mission it is to beat the scourge of HIV/AIDS, this response appears to have become firmly institutionalized and thus made a more or less permanent feature of international life. But despite these achievements, it may be too soon to take the enduring success of the AIDS battle for granted.
The Grand Bargain project will examine in detail the history and politics of the international community’s mobilization against HIV/AIDS, in an attempt to assess the public policies that have been adopted, evaluate the durability of these policy responses, and determine whether “mid-course corrections” might be needed if the global campaign is to endure and succeed in reaching larger numbers of AIDS patients and in preventing future infections. In addition to writing a book and several related articles, Busby and Kapstein also hope to hold a series of seminars based on this topic.
“HIV/AIDS is a major threat to global health and in many countries a major threat to economic development as well,” said James M. Lindsay, Director of the Strauss Center. “Thanks to the generosity of the Merck Company Foundation, Dr. Kapstein and Dr. Busby will be able to help us understand whether the international community has made the right policy choice for responding to the HIV/AIDS epidemic.”
Dr. Joshua Busby is an Assistant Professor of Public Affairs and a fellow at the Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law. Before coming to The University of Texas in 2006, he was a research fellow at the Center for Globalization and Governance at Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School (2005-2006), the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s JFK School (2004-2005), and the Foreign Policy Studies program at the Brookings Institution (2003-2004). He is currently writing a book entitled States of Grace: Moral Movements and Foreign Policy.
Ethan B. Kapstein holds the INSEAD Chair in Political Economy at INSEAD in Fontainebleau, France and is a Visiting Fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, D.C. Previously he was Stassen Professor of International Peace at the University of Minnesota, Vice President of the Council on Foreign Relations, Principal Administrator at the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development, and Executive Director of the Economics and National Security Program at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of eight books, the most recent of which is The Fate of Young Democracies.
The Merck Foundation is a U.S.-based, private charitable foundation. Established in 1957 by research-driven pharmaceutical company Merck & Co., Inc., the Foundation is funded entirely by the company and is Merck's chief source of funding support to qualified non-profit, charitable organizations. The mission of the Foundation is to support organizations and innovative programs that: expand access to medicines, vaccines and quality healthcare; build capacity in the biomedical and health sciences; promote environments that encourage innovation, economic growth and development in a fair and ethical context; and support communities where Merck has a major presence. For more information, please visit: www.MerckCompanyFoundation.org.
The Robert S. Strauss Center for International Security and Law engages the best minds in academia, government and the private sector in developing practical solutions to the pressing problems of an increasingly globalized world. For more information on the Strauss Center, please visit www.RobertStraussCenter.org.