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date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter begins with a conception of political economy that foregrounds unequal distributions of power and resources and the role of transnational actors and processes. Two specific case examples are described in some detail: (1) the structural adjustment conditionalities demanded by the international financial institutions roughly post-1980 and their impacts on health systems and social determinants of health and (2) the connections between trade and investment liberalization and health outcomes, with a focus on harmonization of intellectual property protection regimes, on food systems, and generically of the incorporation of investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) mechanisms in many bilateral and regional agreements. The chapter concludes by identifying two directions for future inquiry: the erosion of familiar distinctions between global North and South and the normative implications of the proliferation of cross border influences on health.

Keywords: globalization, investment, neo-liberalism, political economy, poverty, structural adjustment, trade

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