1Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK
2Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium
3Law and Development Research Group, Faculty of Law, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium
Solomon Benatar’s paper “Politics, Power, Poverty and Global Health: Systems and Frames” examines the inequitable state of global health challenging readers to extend the discourse on global health beyond conventional boundaries by addressing the interconnectedness of planetary life. Our response explores existing models of international cooperation, assessing how modifying them may achieve the twin goals of ensuring healthy people and planet. First, we address why the inequality reducing post World War II European welfare model, if implemented stateby-state, is unfit for reducing global inequality and respecting environmental boundaries. Second, we argue that to advance beyond the ‘Westphalian,’ human centric thinking integral to global inequality and climate change requires challenging the logic of global economic integration and exploring the politically infeasible. In conclusion, we propose social policy focused changes to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) and a Green and Social Climate Fund, financed by new global greenhouse gas charges, both of which could advance human and planetary health. Recent global political developments may offer a small window of opportunity for out of the box proposals that could be advanced by concerted and united advocacy by global health activists, environmental activists, human rights activists, and trade unions.
Benatar S. Politics, power, poverty and global health: systems and frames. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2016;5(10):599-604. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.101
Einstein A, Calaprice A. The Ultimate Quotable Einstein. Princeton: Princeton University Press; 2010.
Atkinson AB. Inequality: What Can Be Done. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press; 2015.
Marmot M. The Health Gap: The Challenge of an Unequal World. Bloomsbury Publishing; 2015.
Marmot M, Friel S, Bell R, Houweling TA, Taylor S, on behalf of the Commission on Social Determinants of Health. Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. Lancet. 2008;372(9650):1661-1669. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(08)61690-6
Firebaugh G. The New Geography of Global Income Inequality. Cambridge MA: Harvard University Press; 2003.
Milanovic B. Global Inequality: A New Approach for the Age of Globalization. Cambridge MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press; 2016.
Kentikelenis A, Stubbs T, King L. IMF conditionality and development policy space, 1985–2014. Rev Int Polit Econ. 2016;23(4):543-582. doi:10.1080/09692290.2016.1174953
Schrecker T. A new gilded age, and what it means for global health; Comment on “Global health governance challenges 2016 – are we ready?” Int J Health Policy Manag. 2016. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.115
Woodward D. Incrementum ad Absurdum: Global growth, inequality and poverty eradication in a carbon-constrained world. World Econ Review. 2015;4:43-62.
Thomas H, Held D, Young K. Gridlock: From self‐reinforcing interdependence to second‐order cooperation problems. Global Policy. 2013;4(3):223-235. doi:10.1111/1758-5899.12068
Labonté R, Schram A, Ruckert A. The Trans-Pacific Partnership: Is it everything we feared for health? Int J Health Policy Manag. 2016;5(8):487-496. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2016.41
Joseph S. Blame It on the WTO: A Human Rights Critique. Oxford: Oxford University Press; 2013:130-131.
Oberthür S. Global climate governance after Cancun: options for EU leadership. The International Spectator. 2011;46(1):5-13. doi:10.1080/03932729.2011.567900
Harmer A. Democracy – the real ‘ghost’ in the machine of global health policy; Comment on “A ghost in the machine? politics in global health policy.” Int J Health Policy Manag. 2014;3(3):149-150. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2014.75
Ranson M, Stavins RN. Linkage of greenhouse gas emissions trading systems: Learning from experience. Climate Policy. 2016;16(3):284-300.
Marron DB, Toder ET. Tax policy issues in designing a carbon tax. Am Econ Rev. 2014;104(5):563-568.