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date: 20 March 2019

Abstract and Keywords

As an analytical approach, the political economy of health “requires attention to the political and economic structures, processes and power relationships that produce” distributions of health and illness, in the words of epidemiologist Nancy Krieger. This chapter demonstrates the value of this approach with reference to domestic and global cases and is organized around three key messages. First, public finance is a public health issue. Second, the transnational corporate role in the spread of disease must be taken into account in public health ethics. Third, ethics and politics cannot be separated in public health. The chapter concludes with three challenges for building a public health ethics that “speaks truth about power” in an increasingly inhospitable policy environment.

Keywords: political economy, politics, power relationships, public finance, transnational corporations, public health ethics

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