Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Pillar Head

Meenakshi Gautham

Head of Economic, Social and Political Sciences at the AMR Centre

Woman selling fruit

At LSHTM, the economic, social and political sciences are a crucial component of our research into antimicrobial resistance (AMR).  Our researchers apply these disciplines in order to explore the personal, social, and societal worlds of AMR, both in Low and Middle Income countries, and in the UK. Our teams share a commitment to academic rigour, the development and appraisal of evidence, and direct engagement with decision-makers around the globe.

Health Economics concerns the valuation of resources, assessment of efficiency, equity and analysis of behaviours and health systems. The PERFORM study is an example of the work being undertaken by members of the AMR centre in this area.  It is an EU Horizon 2020 project that aims to develop and validate new ‘-omics’ based diagnostic technologies to improve the management of acute febrile illness in children and reduce unnecessary antimicrobial use. LSHTM researchers are conducting a comparative health systems analysis to understand existing management of children with fever in different European countries, and evaluating the potential cost-effectiveness of new such diagnostics in a variety of different settings.

Anthropology and Sociology explore the relationships between humans, societies, and antimicrobials.  AMR can be understood to operate on a global stage, co-constructed between the pharmaceutical and medical diagnostics industries, the scientific community and political-economic dynamics. To find alternative avenues for responding to AMR, it is necessary to unpick and reframe our scientific, political and public perceptions of the problem.  Anthropological research in this area is being led by Prof Clare Chandler and the Antimicrobials in Society research hub.

Health Policy Analysis and Political Sciences focus on understanding how factors such as the process, content and participating actors shape the development, decision-making and implementation of novel guidelines, policies, and legislation. The School is home to the Policy Innovation and Evaluation Research Unit (PIRU), led by Prof Nicholas Mays. The team evaluated the implementation of the UK’s AMR Strategy 2013-2018 and will be undertaking an evaluation of the UK’s 2019-2024 National Action Plan.

These disciplines work in concert to tackle challenges associated with AMR that confront our health, our health systems and our own assumptions about the scope and nature of the topic.