Globalisation is breaking down economic, political, cultural, demographic, and social barriers across the world at an astonishing pace. The topic of globalisation can arouse passionate debate in many circles including academic journals, the popular media, and even on the streets. This new world order is marked by new actors, new rules of governance, new forms of communication, and the global movement of populations. Health is an exquisitely sensitive mirror of social conditions, and the authors of this book argue that the assessment of health is an important criterion for evaluating and monitoring the progress of globalisation. This book provides an analysis of the most serious global threats to health, the tools that can be used to evaluate them, and the international agencies established to respond to them. Medical threats such as infectious diseases, obesity, tobacco use, and global climate change are discussed, but the authors also expand their scope to include socio-political health impacts such as economic inequality.
The complex role of organisations such as the World Health Organization, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank is also analysed, as is the increasing interconnectedness of health and non-health actors. Is this blurring of boundaries really beneficial to the public's health, or have these actors abandoned health issues for power politics? By drawing together an international group of health experts, Globalization and Health provides a comprehensive account of the successes and failures, as well as the challenges and opportunities of globalisation for public health.