Critical Global Health: Responding to Poverty, Inequality and Climate Change; Comment on “Politics, Power, Poverty and Global Health: Systems and Frames”

Document Type: Commentary

Author

Centre for Primary Care and Public Health, Queen Mary University, London, UK

Abstract

A recent article by Sol Benatar calls on the global health community to reassess its approach to twin crises of global poverty and climate change. I build on his article by challenging mainstream narratives that claim satisfactory progress in efforts to reduce poverty and improve health for all, and arguing that any eradication of poverty that is consistent with environmental sustainability will require a more explicit emphasis on the redistribution of power and wealth. I suggest that the global health community has been largely socialised into accepting that progress and future solutions can be attained through more neoliberal development, technological advancement and philanthropic endeavour and that a more critical global health is required. I propose three steps that the global health community should take: first, create more space for the social, political and political sciences within global health; second, be more prepared to act politically and challenge power; and third, do more to bridge the global-local divide in recognition of the fact that progressive change requires mobilisation from the bottom-up in conjunction with top-down policy and legislative change.

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