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Institute of Population Health Sciences (IPHS)

Dr Jonathan Kennedy

Jonathan

Reader in Politics and Global Health

Email: j.kennedy@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44(0)20 7882 2502

Profile

Twitter: @j_j_kennedy

Dr Jonathan Kennedy uses insights from sociology, political economy, anthropology and international relations to analyse important public health problems. For example, his research has explored the link between populist politics and vaccine hesitancy in Europe, the negative impact of the CIA drone strikes on polio eradication efforts in Pakistan, and how Saudi-led bombing of Yemen resulted in the world’s worst cholera outbreak in 2017.

Dr Kennedy has a PhD in sociology from the University of Cambridge (2013). Prior to joining Queen Mary in 2016, he taught international development at the Department of Political Science, UCL and worked as a research associate at the Department of Sociology, University of Cambridge.

 

Selected publications

Jonathan Kennedy (2019): ‘Populism and vaccine hesitancy in Europe: An analysis of national level data,’ European Journal of Public Health 29(3):512-16.

Jonathan Kennedy, Andrew Harmer and David McCoy (2017): ‘The political determinants of the cholera outbreak in Yemen’, Lancet Global Health 5(11): e970-71.

Jonathan Kennedy and Domna Michailidou (2017): ‘Civil war, contested sovereignty and the limits of global health: The political determinants of the Syrian polio outbreak in 2013’, Health Policy and Planning 32(5): 690-698.

Jonathan Kennedy and Lawrence King (2014): ‘The political economy of farmers' suicides in India: Indebted cash-crop farmers with marginal landholdings explain state-level variation in suicide rates,’ Globalization and Health 10(16): 1-9.

Keertichandra Rajan, Jonathan Kennedy and Lawrence King (2013): ‘Is Wealthier Always Healthier in Poor Countries? The Health Effects of Income, Inequality, Poverty, and Literacy in India,’ Social Science and Medicine 88: 98-107.

Teaching

Dr Kennedy teaches undergraduate and masters modules on the social, political and economic determinants of health. In 2019 he was awarded a Queen Mary Education Excellence Award for his contribution to the global health teaching programme.

Research

Research Interests:

Dr Kennedy’s research seeks to understand why, when physicians and public health practitioners know how to prevent many infectious diseases, these diseases still persist. He uses a variety of quantitative and qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews with key informants and national and sub-national statistical analysis. In the past couple of years he has published research looking at the political determinants of cholera in Yemen, vaccine hesitancy in Europe, the impact of armed conflict on efforts to eradicate polio in a variety of countries, including Syria, Pakistan, Nigeria and Somalia.

Dr Kennedy is currently writing a book with the provisional title of Pathogenesis: How infectious diseases shaped the modern world, which will be published in 2022. It uses insights from a variety of academic disciplines – from genomics to economics – to understand the impact that infectious diseases have had on human society from 50,000 years ago to the present date.

Publications

  • Jonathan Kennedy: Pathogenesis: How infectious diseases shaped the modern world. To be published in spring 2022 by Penguin Random House.
  • Sandra Jumbe, Adrienne Milner, Megan Clinch, Jonathan Kennedy, Richard J. Pinder, Carolyn A. Sharpe, and Kevin Fenton (2021): ‘A qualitative evaluation of Southwark Council’s public health response to mitigating the mental health impact of the 2017 London Bridge and borough market terror attack.’ BMC Public Health 21(1): 1-12.
  • Jonathan Kennedy and David McCoy (2020): ‘Malaria Eradication’, Lancet 395(10233): e70.
  • Jonathan Kennedy, David McCoy and Joseph Gafton (2020): ‘The International Arms Trade and Global Health’, in Solomon Benatar and Gillian Brock (eds.) Global Health: Ethical Challenges (Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press): 182-194.
  • Jonathan Kennedy (2020): ‘Vaccine Hesitancy: A Growing Concern’, Pediatric Drugs 22(2): 105-111
  • Andrew Harmer and Jonathan Kennedy (2020): ‘International Development and Global Health’, in Colin McInnes, Kelly Lee and Jeremy Youde (eds.) Oxford Handbook of Global Health Politics (Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press): 217-236.
  • Jonathan Kennedy (2020): ‘Should childhood vaccination be compulsory?’ Perspectives in Public Health 140(1): 23-24.
  • Jonathan Kennedy, Marian Abouzeid, Samer Jabbour and David McCoy (2019): ‘Militaries and global health,’ Lancet 394(10202): 916-917.
  • Jonathan Kennedy (2019): ‘Populism and vaccine hesitancy in Europe: An analysis of national level data,’ European Journal of Public Health 29(3):512-16. [Reported in the Guardian, Chronicle of Higher Education, Times, Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, The Week, Nature, and British Medical Journal.]
  • Jonathan Kennedy, Andrew Harmer and David McCoy (2017): ‘The political determinants of the cholera outbreak in Yemen’, Lancet Global Health 5(11): e970-71. [Reported in BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera, Daily Mail, Independent, Middle East Eye, and Swedish Radio.]
  • Jonathan Kennedy and Domna Michailidou (2017): ‘Divergent policy responses to increasing vaccine scepticism in southern Europe’, Lancet Infectious Diseases 17(9): 900.
  • Jonathan Kennedy and David McCoy (2017): ‘The WHO and the health crisis among the Rohingya people of Myanmar’, Lancet 389(10071): 802-803.
  • Jonathan Kennedy (2017): ‘How Drone Strikes and a Fake Vaccination Program Have Inhibited Polio Eradication in Pakistan’, International Journal of Health Services 47(4): 807-825.
  • Jonathan Kennedy and Domna Michailidou (2017): ‘Civil war, contested sovereignty and the limits of global health: The political determinants of the Syrian polio outbreak in 2013’, Health Policy and Planning 32(5): 690-698.
  • Jonathan Kennedy (2016): ‘Why have the majority of recent polio cases occurred in countries affected by Islamist militancy? A historical comparative analysis of the political determinants of polio in Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria’, Medicine, Conflict and Survival 32(4): 295-316.
  • Jonathan Kennedy, Lawrence King and Martin McKee (2015): ‘Islamist insurgency and the war against polio: A cross-national analysis of the political determinants of polio,’ Globalization and Health 11(1): 40.
  • Jonathan Kennedy (2015): ‘The Socioeconomic Determinants of Natural Resource Conflict: Minerals and Maoist insurgency in India,’ Society and Natural Resources 28(2): 149-64.
  • Jonathan Kennedy and Lawrence King (2014): ‘The political economy of farmers' suicides in India: Indebted cash-crop farmers with marginal landholdings explain state-level variation in suicide rates,’ Globalization and Health 10(16): 1-9. [Widely covered in the Indian media. For example, by Times of India and Hindustan Times.]
  • Jonathan Kennedy (2014): ‘Gangsters of Gandhians? The political sociology of Maoist insurgency in India,’ India Review 13(3): 212-34.
  • Keertichandra Rajan, Jonathan Kennedy and Lawrence King (2013): ‘Is Wealthier Always Healthier in Poor Countries? The Health Effects of Income, Inequality, Poverty, and Literacy in India,’ Social Science and Medicine 88: 98-107. [Widely covered in the media. For example, by The Guardian (UK) and Economic Times (India).]
  • Jonathan Kennedy and Lawrence King (2013): ‘Adivasis, Maoists and Insurgency in India,’ European Journal of Sociology/Archives Européennes de Sociologie 54(1): 1-32 [lead article].
  • Jonathan Kennedy and Sunil Purushotham (2012): ‘Beyond Naxalbari: A Comparative Analysis of Maoist Insurgency in India, 1947 to present date,’ Comparative Studies in Society and History 54 (4): 832-62.
  • Jonathan Kennedy and Lawrence King (2011): ‘The Conviction of Binayak Sen,’ Lancet 377 (9774): 1316-17.
  • Jonathan Kennedy and Lawrence King (2011): ‘Understanding the Conviction of Binayak Sen: Neocolonialism, Political Violence and the Political Economy of Health in Central India,’ Social Science and Medicine 72(10): 1639-42. [Both publications on Binayak Sen were widely covered in the Indian media, including two of India’s three biggest English newspapers, The Hindu (front page) and The Hindustan Times.]

 

All publications

Supervision

Dr Kennedy is interested in supervising students whose research focuses on the social, political and economic determinants of health.

He is currently supervising Aida Hussain, whose research on healthcare in Somalia is supported by the Economic and Social Research Council through the London Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Doctoral Training Programme.

Public Engagement

Dr Kennedy writes on topics related to politics and health for a non-academic audience. His work has been published in The Guardian, The London Review of Books, Al Jazeera, Politico, Project Syndicate, Index on Censorship, El Pais, and Les Echos.  He has appeared on TV (CNN, BBC, Al Jazeera news) and radio (BBC Radio 4’s World at One and The World Tonight) to talk about important global health issues. You can watch him discuss his research on the link between populism and vaccine hesitancy for a documentary made by The Economist here.

Below are a selection of Dr Kennedy’s non-academic writings: