Profile: Dr Owain Williams - Lecturer in IR and Human Security

Dr Owain Williams - Lecturer in IR and Human Security

Dr Owain Williams is at the University of Leeds School of Political Science and International Studies, is a former Senior Research Fellow at the University of Queensland, former Fellow of the Centre for Health and International Relations, the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University, UK.

He is an expert on the politics and political economy of global health policy, and on intellectual property rights and access to medicines.

   

Dr Owain Williams's COVID-19 Diary

09 Nov 2020 : Pandemic Election

Like many in global health, in political science and just generally everyone, it has been almost seven days of checking USA feeds for results and announcements. It has been a tumultous week in the US. Rarely has an election result in any single country produced fireworks in London, or church bells to be rung in France. It is fairly clear that the pandemic...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

28 Oct 2020 : COVID and the Old/New Politics of Debt

In the last two weeks the IMF and World Bank held their annual meeting. Top of the list was of course the COVID recovery and the role of the two International Financial Organisations in plotting the way out of the global depression. Both organisations have serious financial clout behind them. The IMF announced earlier in the year that it loan capacity for...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

11 Oct 2020 : The UK is in a Mess (again)

In the UK everything seems to be completely out of control. The government has so badly mishandled almost every facet of the response that local authorities across the country have defected from the omnishambles that is the test and trace ‘system’ and are taking these functions into their own hands. The reports last week of Serco’s use o...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

05 Oct 2020 : Agent Orange

Teaching has started online and boy it is busy. Students are attending online teaching faithfully. Almost all groups are isolating and many of my students, especially the first years, are reporting positive test results for COVID. It is very depressing, and I feel so sorry for them arriving for the first weeks of university only to weather an infection an...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

23 Sep 2020 : Universities UK: When will they have to close?

It is a sad milestone day in so many ways, some close to home. The USA passed 200,000 deaths on the same day India overtook it as the country with the highest recorded numbers of infections. It now has over 5 million confirmed cases. This is thought to represent only a fraction of real cases, even though India has substantially ramped up testing – n...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

04 Sep 2020 : The Triple Crises of Private Health: State and Multilateral Governance Responses

This is the final part of the collection of posts on the triple crises of private health, these largely having focused on the private hospital sector.  I will be splitting this post into two parts, one looking at national responses and the other the emerging multilateral governance of the crises of private health. So far, by means of focus on a rang...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

24 Aug 2020 : Finger Lickin Good No More

Queensland in Australia is experiencing a new outbreak centred o a youth detention centre in Brisbane. After months of zero cases and no community transmission we are back in the wait and see game. I have been wearing masks to shops throughout, but gradually easing off in my own precautions. I have been deliberately trying to ease my own unease about open...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

14 Aug 2020 : Russian Vaccine

All over the news yesterday was Putin's announcement that he was authorising the use of the newly developed vaccine - Sputnik V. His daughter has been part of a small cadre of people reciving it as part of a trial, way below the threshold for normal Phase 3 in terms of size, or really for Phase 2 for that matter. Mass vaccination in Russia will commence i...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

11 Aug 2020 : Holiday Blues

I have just returned from first week off since Xmas, spending 1 week in an apartment overlooking the sea in the south of Queensland. It was lovely. The apartment block facing the sea backs on to a road the other side of which is the Gold Coast airport. Normally flights start at 6.30 am and end at 10.30 pm, with jet after jet landing to service the extende...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Jul 2020 : The Vaccine Race and its Political Economy

Vaccines have become a moribund area of research and development in the historically heavily marketized and corporate dominated pharmaceutical sector. Corporations have avoided investment in developing vaccines for many of the emerging and re-emerging pathogens that threaten pandemics for two reasons. The first is associated with the fact that a range of ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

24 Jul 2020 : Endemic

The United States has now surpassed 4 million cases with fatalities now over 1000 per day, which is frankly unbelievable given the resources at its disposal. The waste is criminal and negligent. Much the same from Brazil with 84,000 deaths and a disgrace of a President in charge, who is infected and yet refuses to physically distance from others. Both Tru...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

21 Jul 2020 : Is This Good News?

I can’t help suspending my usual deep cynicism about the pharmaceutical culture and its political economy today, even though there are real reasons for pessimism amongst what appears to be wonderful news.  I can’t help myself thinking that I am just so desperate for something to latch on to with regard to halting COVID that I am prepared ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

15 Jul 2020 : Triple Crises of Private Health 3b/4

The first half of this post can be read at: https://covid19healthdiaries.com/diary?did=303 Pricing and gouging The private hospital model is certainly based on charging patients for care and treatment, whatever the means of payment. Gouging describes charging well above market rates for a good or service, the seller exploiting instances where demand is...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

15 Jul 2020 : Triple Crises of Private Health 3a/4

This is the third in the train on the triple crises of market failure in the private health and hospital sector. The post on Crisis 1 detailed the unprecedented financial and liquidity problems facing the private health sectors and services. The normal private hospital (and clinic) service and business model is completely disrupted, and uncertainties as t...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

06 Jul 2020 : Melbourne Tower Blocks

There is currently a localised epidemic of COVID in the state of Victoria, Australia, centring on a number of suburbs of the state capital, Melbourne. In a country that has successfully flattened the curve since an initially confused response in March, these new cases (some 100 a days in the last week) indicate how long the tail of the first wave is, and ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Jun 2020 : More like a Proper Diary Entry

Ever since March 1st I have been trying to write a more self-reflective piece on myself and COVID on the first day of the month. I must admit this does not come easy to me, a man from a fairly working class background and area. It is not what we do really, at least in my age group. The diary site for me has morphed into analytical studies of neoliberalism...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

29 Jun 2020 : Triple Crises of Private Health 2/3

This is the second part of the thread on market failure and the private hospital and healthcare sector, having posted part 1 on the 19th June. This post picks up and examines the details of the triple crises of market failure in private sector health, particularly in private hospitals during the pandemic. It is worth noting that financial pressure on the ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

18 Jun 2020 : Market Failure, COVID and Private Healthcare 1/3

In May my posts on this site carried some analysis of COVID and the mass market failures that have occurred in vaccines and medical technologies, aged care and health and healthcare that have been the hallmark of the last six months. The background or structural precursors to the present raft of market failures were largely attributed to neoliberal market...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

11 Jun 2020 : Remember COVID-19 in the USA?

The USA is now polarised not only around issues of race and the POTUS. It has a problem with open-up states, a real problem of massive amounts of new hospitalisations with COVID, and huge and prolonged spikes in new infections. Any proponents of opening up need to consider what occurs if a whole host of necessary prerequisite are not in place, such as org...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

09 Jun 2020 : More Numbers

Bolsonaro is now also in the ‘mad emperor stage’ of leadership, with reports that Brazil has ceased to count or publish statistics on COVID cases. The epidemic in that country is spiralling and it is now the second worst hit country after the USA. Brazil’s health ministry took down the website that had been recording fatalities and total...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

04 Jun 2020 : Further Unraveling, in the USA and Elsewhere

This whole week has seen the USA teetering on the brink of real social and political collapse, with the POTUS having invoked the need for a military presence on the streets, measures way beyond that of the deployment of the National Guard. This week has not been normal by any stretch of the imagination. The are multiple news channels carrying images of mi...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

29 May 2020 : A Route out of Dying Neoliberalism - 3/4 on COVID, Neoliberalism and Poverty

This is the last of my three-part posts on neoliberalism, poverty and COVID. I want to look at some of the already emerging secondary and downstream effects of COVID on the global poor, and will do so towards the back end of today’s long post. The secondary impacts of COVID on poverty will mainly be from the economic fallout of the pandemic, and ind...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

24 May 2020 : COVANGRY Day

I’m having a COVANGRY day and don’t even know where to start. The age of populism is also the age of stupidity and moral failure, it seems perfectly clear. As official COVID-related deaths in the USA tip toward the 100,000 mark, the POTUS chose this moment to go golfing. Brazil is also in real dangerous waters and sees a President respond to t...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

19 May 2020 : World Health Assembly High-Politics

I start my day of working in a rota on and off with the two year old. Endless snacks, stories and TV, mixed with bouts of work. It is a crazy way to work, but has been the pattern for nearly 3 months. Most of the time it is just impossible and frustrating. When I do get to it, I am tired from watching the live feed of the World Health Assembly (WHA) much ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

17 May 2020 : Neoliberalism, Poverty and COVID 2/3

This second post on neoliberalism and the vectors of poverty and inequality will focus on the impact of COVID on some LMIC countries and specific populations such as slum dwellers. I’m going to confine analysis to just two countries badly hit, Ecuador and Brazil. First, let me start out by saying that, with a sadly ever-growing number of exceptions...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

14 May 2020 : Neoliberalism, Poverty and COVID 1/3

In January 2020, Susan Sell and myself edited and published a Special Issue of the Review of International Political Economy (or RIPE), on the global political economies of health. Our introduction to the collection had the pretty pompous title – ‘Health under Capitalism: a global political economy of structural pathogenesis’. Basically,...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

11 May 2020 : Merchants of Confusion

Confusion reigns in some of the countries worst hit by COVID. The UK, the US and Brazil are now in disarray with confused messaging and the real disintegration of functioning political systems. In all three countries, state-level governments, devolved nations and cities are now following their own paths as the messages grows more confused and leadership i...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

08 May 2020 : Neoliberalism, Aged-Care and COVID 2/2

For those after a short read, please look away now. In this second part of my post about COVID, aged care and neoliberalism (see May 5 for part one) I want to give focus to the consequences of marketisation in the COVID crisis. Having so far detailed the withdrawal and reformulation of government from a privatized and increasingly financialised long-term...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

06 May 2020 : Opening Up

After having a self-imposed news holiday, I just had to check in today. I felt as if I was missing out and it was making me anxious.  Having checked I can confirm it was not great. New cases in the USA are now at 20,000 per day and there have been of 71,000 official recorded deaths ascribed to COVID. In this context, May the 5th was a very busy day ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

05 May 2020 : Neoliberalism, Aged-Care and COVID: Market Failure 1/2

Like many people I have direct experience of a family member in long-term aged care etched on my memory. For me it was my grandfather on my father’s side, Tom Williams. He entered care when I was about 11 and remained there for a number of years before dying. The care unit was run by the NHS and local authority in my South Wales Valleys’ homet...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

02 May 2020 : Neoliberalism and Privatisation: Background to Market Failure and COVID.

As with many of the commentators on Twitter, social media and on this site, I am having what could be described an angry day (a COVANGRY day as someone put it recently), one of many over the last few months. For many of us involved in Global Health, from whatever disciplinary take, these days bubble up and you just can’t help but seethe at the waste...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Apr 2020 : Lying and the Politics of COVID

One of my personal battles in lockdown is trying not to watch Trump’s daily briefings, which I have about a 50% success rate with. A first world problem I know. It is a bit like watching an episode of Faulty Towers between your fingers, cringing as Basil spirals out of control after starting out with some petty lie or misunderstanding, a nose-diving...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

28 Apr 2020 : Pandemic Authoritarianism

There is an evident political tension being played out in many countries around the issue of COVID and authoritarianism. In fact, authoritarianism and COVID was the focus of one of the earliest debates that surfaced around China’s response to Wuhan and Hubei outbreaks in January. Many were scathing at the draconian measures instituted there and the ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

26 Apr 2020 : Opening Up and UK Politics

Boris Johnson is back to work tomorrow and apparently raring to go. The already notoriously workshy PM is set to up the ante it seems, and now planning a series of meetings with key Ministers and no doubt the SAGE advisory body, all to discuss easing the lockdown. The open up debate is playing out everywhere in the UK press, and even amongst friends and c...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

25 Apr 2020 : A Hockey Stick and Medicines

http://speri.dept.shef.ac.uk/2020/04/24/the-race-for-a-covid-19-vaccine-looming-global-political-economy-challenges-surrounding-our-last-best-hope/   Simon Rushton and I had our blog published on the SPERI site today, and although the blog format is good for getting it out there, it does limit the depth that you can go into a given problem. I&rsquo...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

24 Apr 2020 : Post-Truth, Science Denialism and the Right

One of the major causes of inaction around COVID-19 has emerged from the relationship that has been closely forged between right wing leaders, thinkers, and their public supporters, and science denialism. This being the rejection of truth and scientific evidence in the face of overwhelming evidence. There has long been a debate in those involved in tracki...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

22 Apr 2020 : Supply Chains

Made the first start on joint article on COVID and neoliberalism today, building on the CUP book proposal. We take the tack that beneath proliferating viral metaphors about neoliberalism and health and society over recent decades, there lies something fundamentally true about how it colonises different areas of global life and takes them over. The COVID p...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

18 Apr 2020 : We Were Doomed by Our Incompetence, Hubris and Austerity

It is really not the most optimistic of mornings. Having been very good for weeks, the toll of being stuck at home finally gets to the little one, with many melt downs. She wants to go out and see her friends. It is strange to balance these things at the moment, but she remains blissfully unaware of global events. Last night was full of news feeds from a...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

17 Apr 2020 : It Does Not Have to Be a Disaster in Human or Political Terms

Trump has issued a series of Tweets that give ringing endorsement at protests against the lockdown measures in a number of states. The Tweets have ‘Liberate Minnesota’, ‘Liberate Michigan’ in them, as if there is some worthy crusade there for freedom that he is urging on. As Shahar Hameiri states on Twitter, the USA is now displayi...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

16 Apr 2020 : Political Economies

Beginning the piece on the political economy of COVID for SPERI at Sheffield has given me a great deal to think about. Of course, there are all the sectoral dimensions (pharmaceuticals, medical technologies, even tourism and transport) that need to change, or will be changed. There are also bigger picture areas I’m starting to catalogue, such as pro...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

15 Apr 2020 : Everyone knows what is going on here

I have to lead today with the obvious, otherwise the elephant in the room would have been unbearable. On April 14th the POTUS announced in a Rose Garden briefing that the US would cease to fund the WHO. He lays various charges against the organisation for its failures. Let me be honest and clear, the WHO has not been without its faults in the early stages...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

14 Apr 2020 : Total Authority = Total Responsibility

I wake to see a series of Tweets from the USA, all from people watching Trump’s 13 April press conference with various shades of anger and disbelief. He seems to be fully out of control now. I can’t help myself and watch the CNN livestream. As somebody points out, the banners CNN puts up under POTUS through the press conference mark his extrao...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

12 Apr 2020 : Correction

Sadly I was wrong 19 NHS staff died yesterday alone. Adding to the previous 36 to date.   Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

12 Apr 2020 : Read Eric Lipton NY Times

Start the day with message from my father. His friend Howard has installed an app that tracks flight paths of particular airlines, many people have this, I know. His son is a pilot with British Airways and volunteered to fly a Boeing 777 direct to Shanghai in China. There are 4 pilots and the entire plane is empty. Once there, the plane is filled with PPE...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

11 Apr 2020 : The Brilliant Virus

Start to think of new project for writing next week, building on some previous work and an unrealised ambition. I always wanted to write a much wider and theoretical price on market failure and health. Why would you put faith in a mechanism so ill suited to providing such an essential human service and where demand does not change with price. If you are i...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

10 Apr 2020 : Good Friday

In psotive news, although emerging from all the human disater that has unfolded, it seems that even after some 3 months there are signals that the global environment can recover. Due to the fall in industrial production, road and air traffic, and other variables based on fossil fuel use, levels of CO2 and other pollutants have steeply declined. In the Nor...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

08 Apr 2020 : 100 Days and Tedros

Today is the 100-day mark since China informed WHO of an outbreak of a novel coronavirus. Imagine that, even with the start date being earlier than the ‘official’ CCP recognition and admission of a problem, this has circulated the planet and destroyed the global economy in just that short time. The fallout on the global economy will last for d...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

07 Apr 2020 : Cognitive Displacement

Yesterday was spent mostly dealing with a completely stir-crazy two year old who wants to 'take flowers to all the people in hospital', despite being insullated from the news and so on. We are having a holiday at home is wearing thin. I am among the ranks of people trying to work with kids on laps singing Frozen numbers and tugging for attention. I saw on...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

05 Apr 2020 : The President and the International Liberal Order

Q    Mr. President, can you clarify the situation with 3M right now?  Germany said that it was an act of piracy that 200,000 masks were apparently diverted from Thailand to the United States, instead of to Berlin.  Is that a miscommunication?  Did that actually happen?  And should 3M be fulfilling contracts for masks to ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

05 Apr 2020 : News from Home

News from Bronglais Hospital, the small but effective hospital in Aberystwyth in West Wales. Apparently there are now cases and community transmission there, the rumour mill goes. They are not testing by swab as the samples have to go to labs in Cardiff and the delay in results is simply too long. Instead they are confirming pulmonary obstruction by MRI s...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

04 Apr 2020 : Cruise Ships and Science

In China there are reports of new outbreaks in regions. Hubei is not presently affected. There are also reports of wet markets having reopened, which if true is just atrocious in terms of a failure of governance. Eating exotic meats is not defensible by some now trite ‘you are being too colonial’ quip from now on. There are reports I am readin...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

03 Apr 2020 : Liberal International Order

Trump flatly states he will not wear a mask, asking us to imagine him meeting with kings and dictators in the Oval Office wearing a mask. As if it is such a stupid concept that the man nominally steering a national response to a pandemic would not take necessary steps to secure himself from infection. But what would that look like! New medical guidance in...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

02 Apr 2020 : Return Home and Dumpster Fire

I returned home this morning, my other home in Brisbane, after 14 days of isolation. It was very emotional for me, but also very strange. Youngest daughter was so happy to see me, but I do miss Tom and Edie too. All together in some shape of form, despite the no almost incomprehensibale distances. Spent most of the day just playing and Frozen and the film...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

01 Apr 2020 : Last Day in Iso

Breakthrough day on a personal level. I’m out of self-isolation in two hours and have finally caught up entering the two months of hand written diary entries. I’m just one day behind now. Sobering interview on World Service with a US medic. Hospitals are forming triage teams with blinded patient data (no race, religion or personal information)...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

31 Mar 2020 : Nevada Car Park

There is a picture on social media circulating of a car park in Nevada, USA> Authorities have painted the whole area out with white rectangles, all together forming a giant grid. Each cell is a designated safe space for homeless people to sleep or rest in while socially distancing. Even more gut wrenching, as Jan Selby puts it on Twitter, is that there...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Mar 2020 : More from the evening

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark wa...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Mar 2020 : More Figures

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped, and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark w...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Mar 2020 : More Figures

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped, and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark w...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Mar 2020 : More Figures

Spain has 80,000 infections and Italy a staggering 97,000, the latter with 11,000 deaths. Reports from doctors and staff in Spain describing hospitals as being totally swamped, and despite talk of flattening the curve some predict a peak in 3 weeks. France now has 680 deaths and Germany is accepting patients. New Orleans governor just made a very stark w...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

30 Mar 2020 : Bigger than The Bachelor

There are 700,000 confirmed infections worldwide today, and that is confirmed. We have probably easily surpassed the 1 million mark, if not more. Zimbabwe has abandoned its currency and switched perhaps other currencies and to the US$. I read a very good article on ZeroHedge (an investment site). There has been a huge dollar spike as people are getting ou...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

29 Mar 2020 : Things will get worse before they get better

The Higher Ed system is clearly not immune to COVID-19. I see a heart breaking Tweet from someone 3 months into first tenure position. Her college – MacMurray College – has just announced it will close permanently. It will not be the last I am sure. Even before this crisis it was clear that the Australian sector was so heavily exposed, particu...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

29 Mar 2020 : Federal Meltdown

Deaths in Italy surpassed 10,000 and it is the first country to reach this macabre milestone. It is very sad to see that beautiful and very social country in such trouble. Of course, rates of multiple generations living together have escalated in that country in the decade after the GFC. Spain and other countries are also characterizable by that demograph...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

28 Mar 2020 : The Atlantic

There is increasing news and very disturbing footage of Indian migrant workers stuck with no wages or food, locked down by brutal police wielding batons or enforcing crawling or sit ups to people on the street. Others are walking home: carrying kids and belongings. Many facing trips back to villages of hundreds of miles. Indian government is injecting $20...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

27 Mar 2020 : Increasing Scale

Today is a pretty lazy day that spirals into work. Have lovely zoom social with friends in UK and Canada. All of us are in lock-down. Lots of jokes and smiles – this contact is really fabulous. Otherwise, I check up on website progress an am aiming for COVI-Diaries launch in coming days. Trump’s America really has gone ballistic. Over 80,000 ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

26 Mar 2020 : India in Lockdown

Spent the day hammering away at diary entries – it is very strange to see hand written entries on the new website. Diary system seems to be working except for registration difficulties (Simon Rushton and Grepin) Jake has done a fab job of getting the system up. In shocking new Jan Selby tweets about Sussex university taking costs saving measures and...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

25 Mar 2020 : THE USA Today

Another online meeting last night with colleagues on Zoo. It is very good to have contact with work, everyone serious and conscientious. Huge workloads presently for those teaching. I clean the flat and write. Trump is extolling in his increasingly deranged style the amount of testing occurring in the US: ‘we are doing an incredible amount of testi...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

24 Mar 2020 : It Unravels

The pictures of abandoned care home elderly patients in Spain are just so haunting. It seems with people dying that staffs simply left, probably to prevent their own infection. They are probably poorly paid like many in the health and caring professions, but still it is shocking to see ambulances taking way the dead. Those left alive must be so traumatise...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

22 Mar 2020 : Cruise Ships and LMICs

Had the day off yesterday to catch up on work in Leeds and in website development. The Naarch Whatsapp group is hilarious and keeps me sane. Kylie and I are really not seeing each other by design. But it is pleasant enough here, like living in a cave in some ways. Finding it weird to do basic things like going outside to bins. The cruise ship situation in...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

20 Mar 2020 : Evening Update

The feeds and news this evening are dire. Back in the UK schools are still open, but universities, including Leeds, have now moved online. Cases in China and Wuhan/Hubei are dropping to nothing. Same in South Korea and Taiwan. Incredible job, whatever the ethics of it . South Korea seems to have tested itself out of a crisis (for now at least. In the US t...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

20 Mar 2020 : First Day of Isolation

Kylie brings in supplies and chance to catch up with the news. Basically, it is very bleak and I do not have the emotional strength to deal with this today. What is important is that social groups are forming online. Friends businesses are closing. Australia teeters to closures and there is talk of Wales, Scotland and NI all closing schools. The same is h...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

18 Mar 2020 : Dubai to Brisbane

I expect to be scanned and screened at Dubai. My fear is of being stuck here in some limbo – any temperature etc. But there is nothing; we all glide through security and into the lights, shops, the oasis of late capitalism that is DHX. Everything is working here, it is all open and glitzy with duty free shops full of punters. Finally, I board flight...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

17 Mar 2020 : EK020

This last day in my new city starts very early with call to Kylie. She has booked me and Air BnB near to home in Brisbane to self-isolate for 14 days. Initially I am just shocked and a bit horrified – it is first thing and my levels of anxiety have been sky-high for days. It is only after half an hour that the complete sense of this measure kicks in...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

17 Mar 2020 : Last Day In Leeds

This last day in my new city starts very early with call to Kylie. She has booked me and Air BnB near to home in Brisbane to self-isolate for 14 days. Initially I am just shocked and a bit horrified – it is first thing and my levels of anxiety have been sky-high for days. It is only after half an hour that the complete sense of this measure kicks in...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

16 Mar 2020

A very quiet weekend but I did go for a walk. People in pubs, bars and cafes. LSE went online today and hopefully that will be the start of it. I think Sheffield has gone online too. I must book the flight. I told Kylie that I would leave by Friday at the very latest (that is the 20th). That could be too late in truth but university still open. We are bei...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

15 Mar 2020

The University of Queensland has stopped all teaching for the week after three students tested positive for the virus. Matt Hancock just announced that everyone in Britain over 70 would be told to self-isolate ‘within the coming weeks’ How vague could he be, certainly he is criminal and out of his depth. Meanwhile, the number of cases rose to ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

14 Mar 2020 : Question Time

Trump releases memo that he is COVID-negative. Places like Panama locking down today, Meanwhile press – such as Daily Mail and Express – are panning John Ashton. “ranting Professor”. I see he is also getting abuse on Twitter. The thing is he was completely right – we are losing control (did we ever have it?). This disease is ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

12 Mar 2020 : Testing Times

Things hotting up at work. Lots of emails and letters to Deans and HoS. Worries for those immunocompromised having to attend lectures. University position is business as usual (BAU) like many of the universities in UK. Epi data in UK continues to look bad and I think we have 2-3 weeks before spike. Government a mess. On picket line today (Thursday) with L...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

11 Mar 2020 : Trump again

Nadine Dorries MP had tested positive for the virus and 9 more cases in Wales bringing the total to 15 University suspends all international travel today for business purposes and recommends against personal travel unless you can get back. I think that could mean I will be stuck here or potentially lose my job. Feels like the start of a very stupid waiti...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

09 Mar 2020

Had a few days off this diary and actually missed it. Italy is now in complete country wide self isolation and quarantine. Travel bans in Europe are multiplying. I think Czech Republic may have closed borders today. Also big movements on stock markets and some evidence of emerging markets getting pounded. All friends getting nervous and colleagues startin...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

05 Mar 2020 : Take it on the chin

First fatality in UK reported yesterday. A woman with pre-exiting conditions. Johnson really is piece of work. I think this will come back too haunt him, I certainly hope it does. It is clear that the strategy is some form of herd immunity, which is just crazy. Got this exchange today at work and want to paint it on the side of his house. Typically banal...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

03 Mar 2020 : It is War for Some of us

Devi Shridar tweets about human rights and social cost of current measures in China. Gostin also keeps ploughing the human rights dimensions. Sure that and gender and the poor, homeless and so on. The homeless in Leeds are everywhere and I have started giving out shrapnel to those I see. But I fear that will all go out of the window soon, as things get se...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

02 Mar 2020 : Spreading

It is everywhere now. WHO situation report is just a list of countries at various stages of outbreak. Italy had 566 new cases and France looks bad too with 342 new cases and over 2000 infected – probably tip of the iceberg. Canada seems to be going for sentinel testing and getting serious about it. Testing is crucial and seems to be really held up. ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

01 Mar 2020 : St David's Day

St David’s day – hurray. Feel flat as a pancake, partly because of university strike which I can’t afford at all. Went for a few beers in the pub which was nice, but I am certainly starting to sit on my own and feel stupid going. Certainly getting nervey about trip back to Oz. Flight booked for 28th and I cant see that happening – ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

28 Feb 2020

New Zealand has banned travellers from Japan (!) and orders 14 day isolation (self-quarantine). Starting to get a bit worried about return to Australia. How bad can this get? Italy is really tracking badly and Catalonia seems to be an emerging hotspot especially around Ramon and Maite in Girona. Should call them soon and check in. Sense of something crank...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

27 Feb 2020 : York Coronavirus presentation

On the train to York for presentation on COVID. Been raining for weeks and York has been badly affected. Today bright and sunny and miss Kylie and Joanie and the heat. Met Sanjoy and he is very nice indeed. Taxi driver was certain that York, not Leeds, was the capital of Yorkshire. Chatted with Sanjoy about global health and neoliberalism as a virus book ...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

26 Feb 2020 : Warning Friends

Feel like a bit of a prat, but have started warning friends on Whatsapp groups about Covid. Italy seems to be a bad way with creeping infection – seems based around ski resorts? Martin is beginning to feel it in Umbria and is wondering about UK trip. I wrote today “Going to give a talk today at Uni of York on COVID-19. Our first pandemic since...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

25 Feb 2020 : Trump

Messonier states there will now be inevitable “community spread” of the virus in the United States and that “disruption to everyday life might be severe.” Trump is furious. Madness, but not surprising from a vaccine denier. This crisis might be his undoing.  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

23 Feb 2020

Out of Harvard today: “As of today, the US remains extremely limited in number of COVID19 testing. Only 3 of 100 public health labs have CDC test kits working and CDC is not sharing what went wrong with the kits. How to know if COVID19 is spreading here if we are not looking for it. Test kits not working.  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

21 Feb 2020 : China again

Prisons seem to be horrific in China, they are really just a sentence to get the disease. What a surprise. Chinese really copping a lot of flack on burying crisis but WHO seem enamoured with response. Tedros and co particularly praiseworthy. Maybe they have WHO over a barrel (got Tedros elected). But it is just full on praise. Figures look dire and it see...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

18 Feb 2020 : Wuhan

Hubei (the province) is now entering into extensive measures and lockdown. Wuhan is isolating people into what is predicted to be really draconian isolation measures – it is 11 million people. It is also getting wider in China with Shanghai going to teach kids online. Some regions limiting traffic to essential vehicles and business suspended until M...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

14 Feb 2020 : Africa

The more I prepare for York amongst the grant writing madness the more I start to worry that this virus gets into Africa. Ebola has basically shown how shallow health systems are there, and that any outbreak will be catastrophic if the fatality rates are even minimal. They will not be able to cope. So much trade and investment and contact with China, espe...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

13 Feb 2020 : China cover up

It seems that there was an early cover up of outbreak in China, as early as December 27th. Posts on WeChat by doctors buried by the local CCP and health officials. Dr Li Wenliang warned of a SARS-like virus. Of course, now looking grim there. Karen Grepin at HKU has like me been in new post since January and is in lockdown, being very funny about toilet p...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

12 Feb 2020 : Day 1 of Diary

Decided to start a diary about coronavirus today. Hello me, hello diary. Been inspired by all the great ethnographic work out there at the moment, and I suppose living alone for this new year at Leeds and new job. Also, received a very nice, warm invite from Sanjoy Bhattacharyato present at his York University, WHO Collaborating Centre on Global Health Hi...  Read this >>

Dr Owain Williams, Lecturer in IR and Human Security

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