Assembling Health Rights in Global Perspective: Genealogies and Anthropologies

Alex Mold and David Reubi, Editors, 2013. London: Routledge.

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During the last 20 years there have been an increasing number of initiatives and efforts – for instance in relation to HIV/AIDS – which draw on the language, institutions and procedures of human rights in the field of global health. This book brings together historians, anthropologists and sociologists to explore public health activists’ increasing use of rights discourse and examines the problems it can entail in practice. Structured around three interlinked themes, this book begins by looking at what health as a right means for our understandings of citizenship and political subjectivities. It then goes on to look at how and why some health problems came to be framed as human rights issues. The final part of the book investigates what happens when health rights are put into practice – how these are implemented, realised, cited, ignored and resisted. The essays in the book were written for a Wellcome Trust-funded International Conference on Health Rights in Global Historical Perspective held at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2011.

Contents: Introduction: Global Assemblages of Virtue and Vitality: Genealogies and Anthropologies of Rights and Health, David Reubi and Alex Mold; Part 1: Rights, Citizenship and Subjectivities: 1. Not Rights but Reciprocal Responsibility: the Rhetoric of State Health Provision in Early Twentieth Century Britain, Jane Seymour, 2. Unauthorised Immigrants and the Denial of the Right to Health Care in the United States Beatrix Hoffman, 3. Rights, Responsibility, and Health Services: Human Rights as an Idiomatic Language of Power, Jarrett Zigon; Part 2: Making Health Rights: 4. The Political Evolution of Health as a Human Right: Conceptualizing Public Health under International Law, 1940s-1990s, Benjamin Meier, 5. Health Right or Human Right? Changing Tides in the International Discussion of Female Genital Mutilation, 1970-2010, Marion Hulverscheidt, 6. Constructing Tobacco Control as a Human Rights Issue: Smoking, Lawyers and the Judicialisation of the Right to Health David Reubi; Part 3: Resistance, Contestation and Translation: 7. From Isolation to ‘Living Together’: Human Rights in Japanese HIV/AIDS Discourse, Hannah Waterson, 8. Evidence-Based Advocacy and the Retreat From Rights in Safe Motherhood Discourse’, Katerini Storeng and Dominque Béhague, 9. State of Exception, Culture of Medical Police: SARS, and the law of no rights in the People’s Republic of China, Christos Lynteris.