The Health of the Body Politic

The Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale has launched this clearinghouse to archive and make more broadly accessible the research and analysis done by its affiliated faculty, students and staff, as well as other Yale University scholars that is focused on the twin crises of our time—the COVID-19 pandemic and the surging racial justice movement.

To add research to the site, please email it to

Global Social Science Research | COVID, Race, and Society

Racial Justice Movements Worldwide | Policing

Inequitable access to COVID-19 vaccines among countries that hosted trials

A Yale-led study reveals that low- and middle-income countries that hosted clinical trials for COVID-19 vaccines are receiving proportionately fewer doses of these vaccines, suggesting that there are wealth-based disparities in COVID-19 vaccine access among countries that participate in testing.

Send Vaccines Where People Want Them: Developing Nations

According to a new study co-authored by Yale’s Mushfiq Mobarak and Saad Omer, COVID-19 vaccine acceptance is significantly higher in low- and middle-income countries than wealthy ones. The results suggest that prioritizing developing nations for vaccine distribution could help save more lives and keep variants at bay.

Who is being excluded by India’s vaccination strategy?

Yale’s Rohini Pande and Charity Troyer Moore and coauthor Simone Schaner use survey data to show that reliance on a digital registration process means that women and the poor have less access.

Our Pandemic Year—A COVID-19 Timeline

March 9, 2021

One year ago today the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic. To mark the anniversary, Yale Medicine takes a month-by-month look at a year of unprecedented challenges and important advances.


The Global Impact of Climate Change

A distinguished panel of Yale alumni and World Fellows—Marc DuBois ’81, Gernot Laganda, Susan Tambi Matambo ’04 MEM, Adrien Couton (and moderator Devrim Celal ’96 MPPM)—discussed and explored the interdependency between our environment and human society, the existential impact of climate change, and the role that global citizenship can play in addressing and mitigating environmental threats to humanity and our planet. This program is brought to you by the Yale International Alliance Virtual Series on Global Citizenship in partnership with the Yale Alumni Association Shared Interest Groups.

Virtual Panel: Harnessing Research for Response to COVID-19 in Pakistan

April 10, 2020 

The South Asian Studies Council at the MacMillan Center at Yale 

Moderator: Sarah Khan, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Yale University 

Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Director of the Center for International Development and the Sumitomo-Foundation for Advanced Studies on International Development Professor of International Finance and Development at the Harvard Kennedy School, and co-founder of the Center for Economic Research in Pakistan (CERP) 

Ghazala Mansuri, lead economist in the Poverty Reduction and Equity Group of the World Bank. 

Nausheen Anwar, Professor City & Regional Planning, Director Karachi Urban Lab (KUL), Dept of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts, IBA, Karachi, Pakistan.

Contemporary Iran Forum: Modeling & Projecting COVID-19

May 24, 2020 

Council on Middle East Studies at the MacMillan Center at Yale 

Host: Kaveh Madani, Yale University 

Meead Saberi, University of New South Wales 

Mostafa Shokoohi, University of Toronto 

Mahan Ghafari, Oxford University 

A discussion on COVID-19 modelling and forecast.

Good Society Forum: COVID-19, Climate Change and Conflict Resolution

May 24, 2020 

World Fellows Program at the MacMillan Center at Yale 

Climate change affects everyone – and is a threat multiplier. During the pandemic, our air has become less polluted due to the dramatic drop in carbon emissions from halted industrial output and declining energy demands. The sweeping policy responses to COVID-19 have revealed that governments could tackle climate change if they could muster the same focus and zeal they brought to bear on the coronavirus crisis. How do we get politicians to treat climate change with the same sense of urgency and intensity as COVID-19? What is being done to prepare our countries for the effects of climate change? What more needs to be done to build up resilience? In this forum, we hear from environmentalists from China, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe, of the opportunities to create solidarity and mobilize constituencies in the face of climate change.

COVID-19 situation in Bangladesh

April 21, 2020 

South Asian Studies Council at the MacMillan Center at Yale 

Ahmed Mushfiq Mobarak, Professor of Management and Economics and Chair of the South Asian Studies Council at the MacMillan Center, recently spoke at a virtual seminar at the Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs on how Bangladesh is tackling Covid-19.

Democracy and Rise of Authoritarianism in COVID-19 World

April 30, 2020 

Cosponsored by the MacMillan Center’s European Studies Council, Council on Latin American & Iberian Studies, South Asian Studies Council, Council on Middle East Studies, the Program in Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies, and by the Yale Law School 

Moderator: David R. Cameron, director of the MacMillan Center’s Program in European Union Studies 

Ana De La O, Associate Professor, Political Science 

Tais Gasparian, Associate Research Scholar, Yale Law School 

Vish Sakthivel, Postdoctoral Associate, Council on Middle East Studies 

Nahid Siamdoust, Postdoctoral Associate, Program in Iranian Studies

Aniko Szucs, Postdoctoral Associate and Lecturer, Program on Russian, East European, and Eurasian Studies 

Taisu Zhang, Professor of Law, Yale Law School 

A webinar with scholars from Yale University, aiming to shine a light on the anti-democratic processes that are happening in some countries at the present due to the Covid-19 virus.

COVID-19 and Global Affairs: Geopolitics and Strategy

May 28, 2020 

Jackson Institute for Global Affairs at Yale University 

Moderator: Nuno Monteiro, Associate Professor of Political Science at Yale. 

Speaker: Michèle Flournoy, Former Under Secretary of Defense for Policy, Co-Founder of the Center for a New American Security, and Managing Partner of WestExec Advisors. 

This talk is part of Jackson’s Virtual Discussion Forum series on the COVID-19 crisis and its far-reaching impact worldwide.

Open Borders: Scapegoat in COVID-19 Response 

Samah Rafiq, YaleGlobal Online, April 9, 2020 

Restricting travel, closing borders are not substitutes for strong public health measures in the COVID-19 pandemic response. 

Samah Rafiq is a Fox Fellow at the Macmillan Center for International and Area Studies, Yale University, and a PhD candidate at the Centre for International Politics, Organization and Disarmament, Jawaharlal Nehru University. Her PhD focuses on human international mobility and border control practices.

Traditional Medicine and Quest for Covid-19 Cure 

Dang Nguyen, YaleGlobal Online, April 28, 2020 

Covid-19 and everyday life in Southeast Asia – worried people rely on internet and traditional medicine for prevention and cures 

Dang Nguyen is a 2019-20 Fox International Fellow at Yale University and a doctoral candidate at the School of Historical & Philosophical Studies at University of Melbourne. Her PhD project investigates the performance of non-biomedical knowledge on the internet, with the aim of understanding how digital technologies influence the propagation of knowledge that exists in the margin of scientific knowledge as well as the impact of digitally enabled propagation on non-biomedical cultures as living practices

Despite Effort, Peru’s Covid-19 Response Fails 

Paolo Sosa-Villagarcia, YaleGlobal Online, June 18, 2020 

Peru is a poster child for the problems of radical austerity – money means little without efficient investment in health and social-development infrastructure 

Paolo Sosa-Villagarcia is a 2019-20 Fox International Fellow at the Whitney and Betty MacMillan Center for International and Area Studies at Yale University and a PhD student with the Department of Political Science at the University of British Columbia.

Tracking and understanding vulnerability among India’s poor 

Analysis of nationally representative household survey data: a research team that includes Rohini PandeCharity Troyer Moore and MacMillan Center staff and fellows is helping Indian state governments assess how well Covid-19 relief measures have reached poor individuals. The research team communicates findings to policymakers and the public to increase their understanding about the potential exclusion of vulnerable populations from relief measures, such as government transfers or food ration cards. In one analysis, the team found that a majority of India’s poor women were likely excluded from one of the country’s major Covid-19 relief programs. Communication of these data-driven insights included policy briefs in Hindi and English, an op-ed in Indian Express, and a blog post on the Yale Economic Growth Center’s website.

Surveys to track food prices and availability in India: the team surveyed over 4,000 locations across a central Indian state to understand food prices and availability through India’s nationwide lockdown. They then compared survey findings with data collected from frontline health workers and rural women. A brief, published on the EGC’s website and presented to Indian policymakers, identifies potential ways to alleviate pandemic-related food insecurity, such as by diversifying ration offerings to stabilize prices in public shops.

Surveys of migrant workers in India: the team conducted in-depth surveys of approximately 5,000 respondents, who migrated to their villages from urban areas after the pandemic began, to better understand how migrants are coping through the pandemic and returning to work. The team will continue to survey these migrant workers multiple times over the coming months. Furthermore, they are working to identify and test ways to connect migrants, particularly women, with jobs.

Understanding the experiences of migrant workers in India: 

Large-scale phone surveys of migrant workers in India: a research team that includes Rohini PandeCharity Troyer Moore and MacMillan Center staff and fellows has surveyed over 40,000 returning migrant workers through interactive voice response mobile technology to track migrant vulnerability and access to relief measures. Using these survey results, the team seeks to provide policymakers with rapid, large-scale insights on the status of work and food insecurity for migrant workers. The EGC website contains the phone survey modules that are open for researchers to access. 

Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at the MacMillan Center at Yale: 

A series of podcasts hosted by GLC Director David, W. Blight, discussing various dimensions of the public health crisis and racial justice uprisings with eminent scholars at Yale and across the nation

Race, Health, and Medicine 

David Blight interviews Yale historian Carolyn Roberts, drawing on Professor Roberts’ book project, “To Heal and To Harm: Medicine, Knowledge, and Power in the Atlantic Slave Trade”

Race, Medicine, and COVID19 

David Blight interviews Yale historian Carolyn Roberts and Sascha James-Canterelli, Lecturer in Nursing, Yale School of Nursing: Discussion of the history and present of issues around race and medicine in relation to the COVID crisis

Race, Voting, and Democracy in times of COVID 19

David Blight interviews Carol Anderson (Charles Howard Candler Professor of African American Studies, Chair of African American Studies, Emory University): Discussion of the history of Voting Rights and Voting Suppression, within the context of the pandemic

Race, Policing, and Mass Incarceration in times of COVID 19

David W. Blight interviews Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor in the Department of History and the Department of African American Studies at Yale, with a secondary appointment as Professor of Law at the Law School.

The United States Is Being Taught by Facts and Events 

David W. Blight, The Atlantic, March 25, 2020 

The pandemic is reminding Americans of the importance of government.

What Reconstruction and the New Deal Can Teach Us About What Comes After the Pandemic Presidency 

Intercepted: podcast with Jeremy Scahill, May 13, 2020 

This week on Intercepted: An in-depth historical look at some of the great crises in U.S. history and how the president, Congress, and social movements have responded. Jeremy Scahill interviews Yale Professors of History David W. Blight and Greg Gandin.

After the Flood Recedes 

David W. Blight, The Atlantic, April 26, 2020 

Like Frederick Douglass, we can find inspiration for this moment in the oldest story of rebirth and renewal.

Racial Disparities of COVID-19 are a Consequence of Racist Social Structures 

June 8, 2020 

LaRon E. Nelson, Yale School of Nursing Associate Dean for Global Health and Equity, recently coauthored the paper “Understanding COVID-19 Risks and Vulnerabilities among Black Communities in America: The Lethal Force of Syndemics” for the journal Annals of Epidemiology.

New analysis quantifies risk of COVID-19 to racial, ethnic minorities 

Bill Hathaway, YaleNews, May 19, 2020 

What’s Behind the COVID-19 Racial Disparity? 

Graeme Wood, The Atlantic, May 27, 2020 

Outrage is warranted. But outrage unaccompanied by analysis is a danger in itself. An article featuring the work of Cary P. Gross, Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Yale School of Medicine

Walker-Myers calls to change COVID-19 racial map, test sites to open in minority neighborhoods 

Mackenzie Hawkins, Yale Daily News, Apr 22, 2020 

New COVID-19 racial data in the Elm City confirms existing trends: Black and Latinx New Haveners are more likely to contract, be hospitalized for and die of the novel coronavirus.

Documenting Crossroads: THE NEW NORMAL

National Building Museum exhibition, June 2020 
By Camilo José Vergara with Elihu Rubin 


Camilo José Vergara is one of the nation’s foremost urban documentarians. He was awarded the 2012 National Humanities Medal and was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2002. 

Elihu Rubin is Associate Professor of Architecture, Urbanism, and American Studies at Yale University. 

This exhibition was produced with assistance from Chrysanthe Broikos, consulting curator. This exhibition, a companion piece to Camilo José Vergara’s earlier series of photographs (Documenting Crossroads: The Coronavirus in Poor, Minority Communities) and created with Professor Elihu Rubin of the Yale University School of Architecture, documents and interprets physical adaptations and behavior modifications that people in poor, segregated neighborhoods are resorting to in order to avoid being infected and to ensure economic survival during the pandemic. Our aim is to produce a visual portrait of residents as they deal with the virus on a daily basis. Density and diversity render these spots prime locations for observing a host of behaviors, from shopping habits and fashion trends to familial interactions and health practices.

Yale Talk is a podcast hosted by Yale University President Peter Salovey. About once a month, he will share news from campus or host faculty, students, staff, or alumni for a conversation. Yale is a place of many voices—students, faculty,  staff, and alumni who are bringing “light and truth” to our world in many different ways. Through this podcast, you can hear those voices, so you can learn more about the amazing work of education and scholarship taking place at Yale.

Yale Experts on the Parallel Crises of COVID-19 and Systemic Racism

Anti-black violence, racism, and injustice are all too ubiquitous in our nation today and throughout history. As people called for actions to solve this crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed striking, long-standing health disparities in our nation. President Peter Salovey discussed the role Yale and other universities play in moving our society past these entrenched problems through our mission of education, research, and scholarship. He was joined by Elijah Anderson, Sterling Professor of Sociology and of African American Studies, and Dr. Marcella Nunez-Smith, associate professor of medicine and of epidemiology.

The huge problem with education ‘pandemic pods’ suddenly popping up

Dr. Mira Debs, Executive Director, Education Studies Program, and Lecturer, Department of Sociology, Yale University with Hunter College graduate student JPB Gerald on how pandemic learning pods are linked to white flight in July 22, 2020 Washington Post Answer sheet. 

In times of pandemic, PDS shops should provide rations to all

Rohini PandeSimone Schaner, and Charity Troyer Moore, The Indian Express , July 23, 2020

Policing the Virus: Race, Risk, and the Politics of Containment in Morocco and the United States

Dr. Leslie Gross-Wyrtzen, Security In Context

The Minneapolis Uprising in Context 

Elizabeth Hinton, Boston Review, May 29, 2020 

A proper understanding of urban rebellion depends on our ability to interpret it not as a wave of criminality, but as political violence. 

One Week to Save Democracy 

David W. Blight, The Atlantic, June 5, 2020 

Lessons from Frederick Douglass on the tortured relationship between protest and change. 

America’s Call For A Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement 

On Point- New England Public Radio, June 9, 2020 

The call for a modern-day civil rights movement. We talk to two scholars of history about the need for change and healing. 


David Blight, Professor of History, African American Studies and American Studies and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University. 

Lucas Johnson, Executive Director of civil conversations and social healing for the On Being Project. Community organizer, writer and a minister in the American Baptist Churches. 

Trump Reveals the Truth About Voter Suppression 

David W. Blight, New York Times op ed, April 11, 2020 

The president is the latest in a long line of conservative politicians to see minority voters as a threat. 

Yale, together 

Kahlil Greene, Yale Daily News, June 9, 2020 

Yale Pediatrics Hosts #WhiteCoatsForBlackLives Demonstration in Support of Racial Justice and Black Lives Matter 

Alexa Tomassi, Yale School of Medicine, June 5, 2020 

“We are here today because we recognize that our health care system is one of the many systems contributing to structural racism,” was the line that started a Black Lives Matter demonstration led by Yale School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics on Friday… 

Public-Health Experts Are Not Hypocrites: Health is about more than simply remaining free of coronavirus infection 

Julia Marcus (Epidemiologist and professor at Harvard Medical School) and Gregg Gonsalves (Epidemiologist and professor at the Yale School of Public Health), The Atlantic, June 11, 2020 

An Epidemiologist’s Lessons From the ACT UP Era, for Today’s Protesters 

Irin Carmon, New York Magazine, June 10, 2020 

As demonstrations against police brutality engulfed the country, over a thousand public-health professionals came out in support of the protests in an open letter. One person who signed was Gregg Gonsalves, a professor of epidemiology at Yale and MacArthur genius who is no stranger to protest movements… 

How to Start Making Real Change in Your Organization 

Heidi Brooks, Yale Insights: Ideas from the Yale School of Management, June 11, 2020  

How should leaders respond to structural inequality and racism? Yale SOM leadership expert Heidi Brooks says that many companies have a bias toward taking quick action that is ill-suited to a complex and ambiguous issue. Instead, organizations should reflect on their own culture and power dynamics and create a long-term plan for impact. 

In Conversation: Yale’s Jeffrey Alexander on how today’s crises might shape tomorrow 

Mike Cummings, YaleNews, June 10, 2020 

It’s never too early to talk with children about race

Brita Belli, YaleNews, June 15, 2020

“Speak to Me”: A Yale School of Art forum

An ongoing series organized by: 

Claudia Rankine, Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale 

Marta Kuzma, Stavros Niarchos Foundation Dean and Professor 

Leah Mirakhor, Lecturer in Ethnicity, Race, and Migration at Yale 

The Yale School of Art’s Speak to Me series is an online forum with invited speakers, activists, writers, and artists in an effort to address the NOW. Envisioned as a series of virtual events through which the work of activists and organizers engaging in the continued fight for justice can be lifted up, the program will feature a series of individuals from different cities across the United States, in order to facilitate a nationwide conversation on what is going on across the country geographically at the moment. With the aim of spreading awareness as to how ongoing conditions of state violence, racial capitalism, and COVID-19 concerns manifest in the protests and calls for justice we ask: What is to be done?

This is My Generation’s Civil Rights Movement

Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, June 6, 2020 

Featuring a post by Mari Chiles, a Yale University senior majoring in the History of Science, Medicine, and Public Health.

Read, Watch, Listen, and Learn: A curated collection on combating racism and advancing equality

Yale Alumni News, June 15, 2020 Recently, we wrote to affirm the Yale Alumni Association’s support for the Black community and everyone who stands up against racism, hatred, intolerance, and injustice, and to state unequivocally that black lives matter. In response to this message, many of you have reached out to learn what we have done in this regard and to know what steps we are taking to advance these imperatives. 

Because Yale alumni are overwhelmingly enthusiastic about lifelong learning, we begin by sharing this curated collection of articles, books, podcasts, reports, videos, and more to facilitate greater understanding of the Black experience in the U.S. While hardly exhaustive, this list includes YAA initiatives and highlights Yale alumni and faculty whose expertise and actions further the ideals of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice.

Yale SOM Dean Kerwin Charles On Racism In America

John A. Byrne, Poets & Quants, June 17, 2020 

A video conversation with Charles Kerwin, Indra K. Nooyi Dean of the Yale School of Management and Frederic D. Wolfe Professor of Management, Economics, and Policy 

Professor Kerwin has a unique lens with which to view the current debate over racial injustice and economic inequality. As a social scientist and economist, he has spent much of his time as a scholar studying and publishing on such topics as earnings and wealth inequality, race and gender labor market discrimination, the intergenerational transmission of economic status, and the lack of work among prime-aged persons.

Inequality: The Wealth Gap Facing Black Americans Is Vast—and Vastly Underestimated

Michael W. Kraus (Associate Professor of Organizational Behavior, Yale SOM) 

Jennifer Richeson (Philip R. Allen Professor of Psychology) 

Yale Insight: Ideas from the Yale School of Management, July 15, 2020 

For every $100 in wealth held by a White family, a Black family has just $10. But studies by Yale’s Jennifer Richeson and Michael Kraus show that Americans believe that the disparity is much smaller. They explain why the misperception is a huge hurdle to closing the gap.

Opinion: George Floyd’s Death Is a Failure of Generations of Leadership 

Elizabeth Hinton, New York Times, opinion, June 2, 2020 

Policymakers in the 1960s had the answers — give political and economic power to the people — but walked away. 

Dr. Hinton is the author of From the War on Poverty to the War on Crime: The Making of Mass Incarceration in America, incoming professor of history, law and African-American studies at Yale University. 

The First Step Is Figuring Out What Police Are For 

Tracey L. Meares and Tom R. Tyler, The Atlantic, June 8, 2020 

For reform to succeed, American communities need to have a conversation about what the purpose of police is, and think hard about what jobs could be better handled by other institutions. 

Tracey L. Meares, Professor and founding director of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School 

Tom R. Tyler, Professor and founding director of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School 

How the Federal Government Can Reform the Police 

Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, June 10, 2020, 

Q. & A. with Tracey Meares, a professor and the founding director of the Justice Collaboratory at Yale Law School

Contained and abandoned in the “humane” border: Black migrants’ immobility and survival in Moroccan urban space

Leslie Gross-Wyrtzen, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 2020

The Racist History of Curfews in America

Linda Poon, Bloomberg CityLab, June 18, 2020 

The restrictions imposed during recent racial justice protests have their roots in efforts to “contain” Black Americans. Featuring the analysis of: 

Elijah Anderson, Sterling Professor of Sociology at Yale University; and 

Elizabeth Hinton, Associate Professor of History & African American Studies