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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.