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Tahir Amin – Technological Colonialism: The Political Economy of Innovation and Global Health

October 19, 2022 @ 12:15 pm  |  Humanities 1, Room 210


With billions of people in low-income countries still without Covid-19 vaccines and therapeutics, this pandemic has exposed the neo-colonial structures of the political economy of intellectual property system and the World Trade Organization (WTO). This talk will delve into an often overlooked history of  how the WTO TRIPS Agreement came into existence and the impact it has had on the global South over the 27 years it has been in force – and how it will impact future pandemic preparedness and climate change.

Tahir Amin, LL.B., Dip. LP., is a founder and executive director of the Initiative for Medicines, Access & Knowledge (I-MAK), a nonprofit organisation working to address structural inequities in how medicines are developed and distributed. He has over 25 years of experience in intellectual property (IP) law, during which he has practised with two of the leading IP law firms in the United Kingdom and served as IP Counsel for multinational corporations. His work focuses on re-shaping IP laws and the related global political economy to better serve the public interest, by changing the structural power dynamics that allow health and economic inequities to persist.

Amin and I-MAK have also put out a 10 point plan for the Biden-Harris administration to bring equity into the patent system, and their work is highlighted in the New York Times Editorial Board’s recent endorsement of patent reform. He is a former Harvard Medical School Fellow in the Department of Global Health & Social Medicine and TED Fellow. Amin has served as legal advisor/consultant to many international groups, including the European Patent Office and World Health Organization, and has testified before the U.S. Congress on intellectual property and unsustainable drug price.



The Center for Cultural Studies hosts a weekly Wednesday colloquium featuring work by faculty and visitors. We gather at 12:00 PM, with presentations beginning at 12:15 PM.

Staff assistance is provided by The Humanities Institute.


October 19, 2022
12:15 pm


Humanities 1, Room 210
1156 high st
Santa cruz, CA 95060 United States
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