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Chapter

Cover Global Political Economy

8. Health  

Simon Rushton

This chapter describes a wide range of contemporary health challenges. It begins by assessing what it means to be healthy. The Covid-19 pandemic, and the response to it, have brought to the fore and shed new light on many of the issues that are core to Global Political Economy (GPE). Despite spectacular advances, there are huge inequalities in health in the world today, both within and between countries. Improving health requires both prevention and cure: public health efforts to protect and promote the health of populations, and healthcare services that are accessible to all in times of need. The chapter then considers how the social, economic, and commercial determinants of health can best be understood by adopting a GPE lens. A GPE framework can also reveal the challenges the world faces in its attempt to achieve universal access to quality healthcare.

Chapter

Cover Poverty and Development

9. Population, Poverty, and Development  

Valeria Cetorelli and Alan Thomas

This chapter explores the relationship between population growth and poverty. There are differing views as to whether rapid population growth hinders economic growth and poverty reduction and whether there is a limit to the number of people the Earth can sustain. The 'revisionist' view is that on the contrary 'development is the best contraceptive' and it is poverty that keeps fertility high, while economic growth is not necessarily inhibited by rapid population growth. In this view, family planning is not an overriding priority but forms part of a rights-based agenda for providing access to reproductive health. The new consensus amongst analysts accepts that access to reproductive health, together with women's education and general improvements in health and living standards, remains the best route to lower fertility.