Antimicrobial Resistance as a Global Health Crisis

Baekkeskov Erik*, Olivier Rubin, Louise Munkholm, Ahmad Wesal Zaman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review


Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is a global health crisis estimated to be responsible for 700,000 yearly deaths worldwide. Since the World Health Assembly adopted a Global Action Plan on AMR in 2015, national governments in more than 120 countries have developed national action plans. Notwithstanding this progress, AMR still has limited political commitment, and existing global efforts may be too slow to counter its rise. The article presents five characteristics of the global AMR health crisis that complicate the translation from global attention to effective global initiatives. AMR is (a) a transboundary crisis that suffers from collective action problems, (b) a super wicked and creeping crisis, (c) the product of trying to solve other global threats, (d) suffering from lack of advocacy, and (e) producing distributional and ethical dilemmas. Applying these five different crisis lenses, the article reviews central global initiatives, including the Global Action Plan on AMR and the recommendations of the Interagency Coordination Group on AMR. It argues that the five crisis lenses offer useful entry points for social science analyses that further nuance the existing global governance debate of AMR as a global health crisis.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOxford Research Encyclopedia of Politics : Oxford Encyclopedia of Crisis Analysis
EditorsEric Stern
PublisherOxford University Press
Publication date2020
ISBN (Electronic)9780190228637
Publication statusPublished - 2020
SeriesOxford Research Encyclopedias

Bibliographical note

January 2021: The ORE of Politics is currently freely available as scholarly articles are gradually added to the site.


  • antimicrobial resistance
  • antibiotic resistance
  • global health
  • global governance
  • transboundary crisis
  • collective action problem
  • creeping crisis
  • wicked problem
  • modernity
  • distributive justice
  • crisis analysis

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