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The Swedish Research Council supports the CARe project: "Governance of collective action: The case of Antimicrobic Policy in Europe"

The project, which is supported with 5 MSEK, will uncover obstacles to concerted and collective EU action towards prudent antibiotics use.

Principle investigators involved are Björn Rönnerstrand (SOM Institute), Jon Pierre (Department of Political Science) och Elina Lampi (Department of Economics).

Abstract: Antibiotic resistance, caused by overuse of antibiotics in health care and veterinary medicine, is an acute global threat to public health. Curbing the use of antibiotics is a classic collective action (CA) governance challenge. In theory, the EU can limit misuse of antibiotics by institutions promoting CA, but it may be tempting for individual member states to ignore such efforts. However, contemporary CA research displays two contending theories of CA; one theory based on rational choice and another theory departing from rules and social norms advocating collective behavior. By approaching the topic of human and animal antibiotic use from a CA and governance theory perspective, the overall aims of this project are to (1) uncover institutional and actor-related obstacles to concerted and collective EU action towards prudent antibiotics use; and (2) to use this empirical case to test the analytical and explanatory capacity of contending theories of CA. To fulfill the aims, the project will draw on three different kinds of data. Firstly, we will identify and carefully describe institutions responsible for policies on antibiotics use in the EU member states and use social network analysis to study the social structure of these institutions. Secondly, to uncover the rationale underpinning antibiotic policy, we will survey officials and conduct interviews with key officials’ in the most central institutions, as identified by the social network analysis.