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The social dilemmas of climate change and antibiotic resistance: An analytic comparison and discussion of policy implications.

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journal contribution
posted on 09.09.2021, 09:59 by Niklas Harring, Eva Krockow
Climate change and antimicrobial resistance are two of humanity’s most imminent problems. Reducing the use of fossil fuels and antibiotics is essential for managing the threats, and theory-based policies are required to stimulate urgently needed behaviour change. This article analyses climate change and antimicrobial resistance within the context of game theory. Previous literature has identified these problems as Commons tragedies, where inherent incentive structures encourage selfish overuse of existing resources. While the game theoretical models provide a helpful conceptual basis, the present analysis suggests discrepancies between some of the theoretical assumptions and the practical realities of climate change and antimicrobial resistance. These include complex networks of decision makers, non-binary choice contexts complicated by temporal and spatial distance between choices and outcomes, and different ethical implications of resource overuse. Policy implications are discussed, highlighting the need of global agreements for coordinating local initiatives for both dilemmas. However, different target groups may be necessary to address the existence of gate keepers (e.g., medical prescribers) in antibiotic use. Additionally, while certain policies types (e.g., information policies) apply to both dilemmas, more nuanced ethical considerations mean that some economic policies (e.g., punitive policies) may be limited to managing climate change.

History

Citation

Humanit Soc Sci Commun 8, 125 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41599-021-00800-2

Author affiliation

Department of Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour, College of Life Sciences

Version

VoR (Version of Record)

Published in

Humanities and Social Sciences Communications

Volume

8

Publisher

Springer Nature

issn

2662-9992

Acceptance date

26/04/2021

Copyright date

2021

Available date

09/09/2021

Language

en

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