Latin American Centre Seminars: Coalitions and Compliance: The Political Economy of Pharmaceutical Patents in Latin America

k shadlen lse ac uk

Convener: Diego Sánchez Ancochea

Speaker: Ken Shadlen, London School of Economics

International changes can reconfigure domestic politics. Since the late 1980s, developing countries have been subject to intense pressures regarding intellectual property rights. These pressures have been exceptionally controversial in the area of pharmaceuticals. Historically, fearing the economic and social costs of providing private property rights over knowledge, developing countries did not allow drugs to be patented. Now they must do so, an obligation with significant implications for industrial development and public health. This talk analyses different forms of compliance with this new imperative in Latin America, comparing the politics of pharmaceutical patenting in Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico. 

Ken Shadlen is a political scientist in the Department of International Development at LSE. He works on the comparative and international political economy of development, with a focus on understanding variation in national policy responses to changing global rules. In recent years his research has focused largely on the global and cross-national politics of intellectual property (IP). He has also worked on the political economy of “North-South” trade agreements, as well as changing patterns of government-business relations and democratization in Latin America. He is one of the Managing Editors of the Journal of Development Studies.