How to make noncoherent problems more productive: Towards an AMR management plan for low resource livestock sectors

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Global policy for managing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is underpinned by a standardised and coherent global framework for reducing antibiotic use in clinical health, veterinary health, and food production sectors. Within the framework, problematic antibiotic use (a significant driver of AMR) is treated as a knowledge deficit on the part of users and prescribers, which can be remedied by educating them to make better informed treatment decisions. This narrow approach to AMR management conceals the socioeconomic and material drivers of antibiotic decision-making, creating challenges for low resource regions that rely on antibiotic therapies to manage uncertainty and precarity. Thus, there is a need for a global AMR policy that acknowledges the diversity of sociomaterial arrangements and practices that antibiotics form part of, if their use is to be reduced without undermining productivity or the attainment of poverty reduction indicators. Drawing upon research of antibiotic use in West Africa’s livestock sector, this article analyses the interrelation of antibiotics, AMR action plans, and production management strategies in ecologies of livestock breeding practices. We apply the STS-influenced perspective of noncoherence to analyse how seemingly contradictory practices and institutional logics productively coalesce. We argue that observing noncoherent practices increases our understanding of antibiotic use in relation to local breeding conditions that are frequently not of the producers’ making, whilst drawing attention to context-specific possibilities for improving livestock management capacities and reducing reliance on antibiotic therapies in low-resource settings. The article concludes by calling for an AMR global policy that is more responsive to local specificity rather than enforcing universal standardisation.
TidskriftHumanities & social sciences communications
Antal sidor10
StatusPublicerad - 22 nov. 2021
MoE-publikationstypA1 Tidskriftsartikel-refererad


  • 5143 Social- och kulturantropologi

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