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O'Connell, Paul (2010) 'The Human Right to Health in an Age of Market Hegemony.' In: Harrington, John and Stuttaford, Maria, (eds.), Global Health and Human Rights: Legal and Philosophical Perspectives. Abingdon: Routledge. (Routledge Research in Human Rights Law)

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Recognition that individuals and communities enjoy a human right to health has, progressively, come to be widely accepted at the international, regional and domestic levels. First with the post-Second World War consensus on human rights, and subsequently through the reinvigorated health and human rights movement, which emerged in response to the HIV/AIDS pandemics in the early 1990s, a consensus has emerged on the centrality of health as a basic human right and on the concomitant obligations of States to respect, protect and fulfil the various aspects of this most basic of rights (Gruskin and Tarantola 2005). Notwithstanding the widespread diffusion of the language of the right to health, the modern era of globalisation has been characterised by ‘bourgeoning health inequalities’ on many levels (Meier 2007: 545). This chapter seeks to contribute to explaining this disjuncture by problematising the relationship between the right to health and the economic, social and political doctrines that have characterised the era of globalisation. We begin by briefly highlighting some of the central principles of the right to health as recognised in international human rights law, before then going on to set out the current context within which the right to health is asserted through a discussion of the nature of contemporary globalisation, noting in particular the centrality of neo-liberal ideology and ‘market solutions’. Following this, we consider the tensions between the assertion of the right to health and the ‘common sense’ of market hegemony, before concluding that a substantive commitment to the right to health may very well require a conscious break with the logic of contemporary globalisation.

Item Type: Book Chapters
SOAS Departments & Centres: Departments and Subunits > School of Law
Legacy Departments > Faculty of Law and Social Sciences > School of Law
ISBN: 9781409403593
Date Deposited: 03 Sep 2014 09:31

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