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Global Politics of Health

ISBN: 978-0-7456-4041-9
224 pages
February 2010, Polity
Global Politics of Health (0745640419) cover image


International responses to the outbreak of SARS, the spread of HIV/AIDS, and the promotion of health as a human right all demonstrate how global politics have a profound effect on the way we think about and respond to major health challenges. Despite a growing interest in the relationship between health and international relations there has yet to be a systematic study of the links between them. Global Health Issues aims to fill this gap – ultimately showing how world politics can be good, or bad, for your health.

This book calls for a more nuanced understanding of the nature of the current global health crisis and the political dilemmas faced by those responsible for the development and implementation of responses to it. By charting these debates and showing how they shape the way actors think about key issues relating to health, such as people movement; infectious disease; the business of health; and the consequences of war; this volume provides an innovative and comprehensive introduction to health and international relations for students of global politics, health studies and related disciplines.

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Table of Contents


List of Abbreviations


Chapter One: Contribution of International Relations to the evolving international health agenda

Chapter Two: Global Health Actors

Chapter Three: Health as a Human Right

Chapter Four: Cross Border Migration

Chapter Five: Armed Conflict and Health

Chapter Six: Infectious Disease

Chapter Seven: Health as a Business



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Author Information

Sara Davies is Lecturer in International Studies in the School of Justice, Faculty of Law, at Queensland University of Technology.
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The Wiley Advantage

• Innovative and comprehensive introduction to global health issues
• The first systematic study of its kind which links health and international relations
• Deals with key issues such as: people movement; infectious disease; the business of health; and the consequences of war
• Calls for a more nuanced understanding of the nature of the current global health crisis and the political dilemmas
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"A significant theoretical and empirical contribution, which deserves consideration by scholars, advanced students and international health practitioners. I thoroughly recommend it."
International Affairs

"[Davies] draws skilfully on a variety of literatures ... to map the political dimensions of global public health, and pinpoints precisely the disquieting conclusions that result from such an exercise."

"Davies' text is particularly useful in providing a critique of recent efforts to incorporate health within the traditional logics of the field."
Cambridge Review of International Affairs

"A well researched, well written and enjoyable book on global health that covers a vast array of topics without ever being too technical."
Dr M. Edelstein, Royal Society of Medicine

"Health is now a political issue on a global scale. Sara Davies' excellent book allows us to understand the tensions created by this development and is essential reading for students and scholars of International Relations."
Colin Innes, Director of Centre for Health and International Relations, Aberystwyth University

"Davies' book is an informative, comprehensive and deep examination of the relationship between politics and health."
Jillian Clare-Kohler, University of Toronto

"The discussion of global health as an issue of 'high politics' has never been more salient. Sara Davies' excellent book makes an important and insightful contribution to the intensifying debates over 'health security' and global health governance. Essential reading for scholars, policymakers and students alike."
Andrew Price-Smith, The Colorado College and author of Contagion and Chaos and The Health of Nations

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