The Politics of Well-Being argues that the relationship between well-being and ethical life has been overlooked. The more specific argument of the book is that ethical life requires political engagement, and the emergence of a society committed to critical thinking. It is argued that these conditions allow for our ordination and confirmation as ethical subjects. While well-being can be experienced in different ways, it is claimed that, after experience of ethical life, a more sustainable form of it is revealed to us, a form which we would be drawn to preserve, a form which can be constituted as an object of hope. While the book draws on philosophical themes, its main focus is political. This is because its primary objective is to identify and to examine what needs to be done in order to realise ethical life. Its main focus in this respect is the identification and examination of the barriers which need to be overcome if ethical life is to be realised. It is acknowledged that this will not be an easy task. Indeed, it may be an impossible task. However, despite these barriers, and despite the dark days we are living through, the book is a call to hope rather than a surrender to despair. This book will be of interest to students of politics, psychology, cultural studies, philosophy, and sociology, as well as anyone else interested in exploring new ideas about how the make the world a better place.
Much has been written about policy efforts to achieve ‘Health in All Policies’: an ambitious attempt to improve population health and reduce health inequalities by ensuring multiple policy areas are more attuned to their health impacts. However, most accounts focus on technical challenges, such as implementing impact assessments. In contrast, and focusing on the European Union, this book argues that ‘Health in All Policies’ is essentially a political project shaped by institutional power, competing ideas, and discourses. We can only really understand the failure to realise its ambition through political analysis.
This distinguished collection stands out from the recent flurry of books on health reform by its sustained and sophisticated analysis of the political dimension. In The Politics of Health Care Reform, some of America's best-known political scientists, historians, and legal scholars make sense of our most turbulent policy issue. They dig below the jargon and minutiae to explore the enduring questions of American politics, government reform, and health care. The Politics of Health Care Reform explains how successful reforms occur in the United States and shows what is unique about health care issues. Theoretically informed, politically astute, historically nuanced, this volume takes an inventory of our health policy infrastructure. Here is an account of the institutions, ideas, and interests that shape health policy in the 1990s: Congress, the federal courts, interest groups, state governments, the public bureaucracy, business (large and small), the insurance industry, the medical profession. The volume offers a fresh look at such critical matters as public opinion, the politics of race and gender, and the lessons we can draw from other nations. The Politics of Health Care Reform is the definitive collection of political science essays about health care. Expanded from two special issues of the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law, the most prominent scholarly journal in the field it helped create, this collection will enliven the present debate over health reform and instruct everyone who is concerned about the future of American health care. Contributors. Lawrence Brown, Robert Evans, William Glaser, Colleen Grogan, Robert Hackey, Lawrence Jacobs, Nancy Jecker, Taeku Lee, Joan Lehman, David McBride, Ted Marmor, Cathie Jo Martin, James A. Morone, Mark Peterson, David Rochefort, Rand Rosenblatt, David Rothman, Joan Ruttenberg, Mark Schlesinger, Theda Skocpol, Michael Sparer, Deborah Stone, Kenneth Thorpe
This book presents a reconstruction of the history of well-being on the European continent with special attention to the European Union, as people from Europe have a history of a long-term march towards well-being. It discusses ancient civilizations on the European continent, which have contributed significantly to the features of well-being in contemporary Europe. Following Europe`s success over the past millennium, which brought the continent a unique rise to better well-being it also imposed new challenges for sustaining well-being and alleviating misery. It is shown that Europeans attained a high level of well-being in global comparison, yet their attitudes remained at the same time ambivalent and precarious. Significant parts of the population claim a low well-being and suffer from the difficulties of life. Even though a top ranked area of socio-economic development in the world, this book shows that poverty, inequality and hardship remain stable structural problems which have to be overcome in order to avoid significant restrictions for a broad quality of life. But despite all their burdens and hardships, Europeans are among the most prosperous and privileged people in the world.
Music, Culture, and the Politics of Health is an ethnographic work that explores the social, cultural, and political dynamics that impinge upon the HIV/AIDS discourse in South Africa and how they find expression in music. The book reveals the interconnections of the local and global culture and politics of HIV/AIDS.
The first book to discuss the Canadian welfare state through a health-focused lens, The Politics of Health in the Canadian Welfare State argues that the nature of Canada’s liberal welfare state shapes the health care system, the social determinants of health, and the health of all Canadians. Documenting decades of work on the social determinants of health, authors Toba Bryant and Dennis Raphael explore topics such as power and influence in Canadian society, socially and economically marginalized populations, and approaches to promoting health. Each chapter examines different aspects of the links between public policy, health, and the welfare state, investigating how broader societal structures and processes of the country’s economic and political systems shape living and working conditions and, inevitably, the overall health of Canadians. Contextualizing the history and status of Canadian health and health care systems with Canada’s welfare state, this concise and timely text is well suited as a supplementary resource for health studies, sociology of health, and nursing courses in universities across Canada.
This book develops a new theoretical framework for the study of security issues and applies this to the case of health. Building on the work of the ‘Welsh School’ of Security Studies, and drawing on contributions from the wider critical security literature, the book provides an emancipatory perspective on the health-security nexus – one which simultaneously teases out its underlying political assumptions, assesses its political effects and identifies potential for transformation. Security, Emancipation and the Politics of Health challenges conventional wisdom in the field of health and international politics by conceiving of health as a fundamentally political issue, and not merely as a medical problem demanding ‘technical’ solutions and arrangements. The book shows how political processes of representation underpin notions of health and disease through an examination of three key areas: the linkages between immigration and the fear of disease; colonial medicine; and the ‘health as a bridge for peace’ literature. In order to successfully carry out this political investigation of health, the book develops an innovative theoretical framework inspired by the idea of ‘security as emancipation’, which goes beyond the existing emancipatory literature in security studies. This book will be of much interest to students of critical security studies, health politics, sociology and IR in general.
This book examines the quest to promote the health and vigour of individuals and populations in Denmark and England. Based on a detailed account of obesity control and mental recovery programs, the book shows that these interventions are supported by a form of optimistic vitalism that seems to have no political limitations.
Human health exists at the interface of environment and society. Decades of work by researchers, practitioners, and policy-makers has shown that health is shaped by a myriad of factors, including the biophysical environment, climate, political economy, gender, social networks, culture, and infrastructure. Yet while there is emerging interest within the natural and social sciences on the social and ecological dimensions of human disease and health, there have been few studies that address them in an integrated manner. Ecologies and Politics of Health brings together contributions from the natural and social sciences to examine three key themes: the ecological dimensions of health and vulnerability, the socio-political dimensions of human health, and the intersections between the ecological and social dimensions of health. The thirteen case study chapters collectively present results from Africa, Asia, Latin America, the United States, Australia, and global cities. Section one interrogates the utility of several theoretical frameworks and conventions for understanding health within complex social and ecological systems. Section two concentrates upon empirically grounded and quantitative work that collectively redefines health in a more expansive way that extends beyond the absence of disease. Section three examines the role of the state and management interventions through historically rich approaches centering on both disease- and non-disease-related examples from Latin America, Eastern Africa, and the United States. Finally, Section four highlights how health vulnerabilities are differentially constructed with concomitant impacts for disease management and policy interventions. This timely volume advances knowledge on health-environment interactions, disease vulnerabilities, global development, and political ecology. It offers theoretical and methodological contributions which will be a valuable resource for researchers and practitioners in geography, public health, biology, anthropology, sociology, and ecology.
We are often told that 'money can't buy happiness'. But if money is not the answer then what is? This book considers this question by examining empirical data stretching back almost 10 years. Whereas previous concerns of individual well-being have been drawn towards the negative outcomes of life experiences, this book provides a new approach by directly addressing the circumstances under which high subjective well-being is experienced, often with surprising results. Drawing on nine years of panel data, the book examines demographic, social, spatial, health, domain satisfaction and socio-economic circumstances in a rich and complex longitudinal study, providing previously unknown information on factors associated with improved and sustained high well-being. It shows that subjective assessments of our circumstances are more important to well-being than our objective conditions and suggests that high well-being may be the key to improvements in people's subjective experience of a wide range of adverse (and other) life events. It also highlights that high levels of well-being are more likely to be associated with our social relationships and health status than with income or personal status, and that affluence is no guarantee to high subjective well-being and indeed may have negative consequences. The 21st century is seeing the emergence of a positive science, with a new focus on subjective well-being. This research adds new knowledge to the issues and debates which support the move towards a better understanding of the factors that promote subjective well-being. Such findings will be important to the international academic field as well as the national political arena where improving well-being has become a part of the government's agenda.
In 1990, Kerala on the southwestern coast has India's lowest infant mortality, longest life expectancy and highest female literacy. India's 'problem state' of the 1950s has become 'the Kerala model'. The collapse of a matrilineal social structure and a rigid caste system contributed to widespread politicization. Women retained a circumscribed but influential position in social life. The result is an instructive analysis for students of politics, development policy and women's issues.
Has politics reached breaking point? Rather than defending liberalism or abandoning it, how can a socially just and ecological alternative be built? Peadar Kirby investigates the causes of our current multifaceted global crisis by drawing on the work of Karl Polanyi. This book explores Polanyi's theory that social disruptions result from the attempt to run society according to the rules of the market. Drawing on these ideas, it outlines pathways towards an alternative future that overcome weaknesses in Marxism. Linking the ecological, political and socio-economic crises, Kirby identifies that an alternative socio-ecological model is emerging, consistent with the insights of Polanyi. Karl Polanyi and the Contemporary Political Crisis is an urgent intervention into key debates on the future of politics, on the low-carbon transition, on automation and on the emerging world order.