Reimagining Global Health: An Introduction
Bringing together the experience, perspective and expertise of Paul Farmer, Jim Yong Kim, and Arthur Kleinman, Reimagining Global Health provides an original, compelling introduction to the field of global health. Drawn from a Harvard course developed by their student Matthew Basilico, this work provides an accessible and engaging framework for the study of global health. Insisting on an approach that is historically deep and geographically broad, the authors underline the importance of a transdisciplinary approach, and offer a highly readable distillation of several historical and ethnographic perspectives of contemporary global health problems. The case studies presented throughout Reimagining Global Health bring together ethnographic, theoretical, and historical perspectives into a wholly new and exciting investigation of global health. The interdisciplinary approach outlined in this text should prove useful not only in schools of public health, nursing, and medicine, but also in undergraduate and graduate classes in anthropology, sociology, political economy, and history, among others.
From the front Cover It is a challenging task to provide a novel and comprehensive view of global health -a dynamic arena for action and an increasingly attractive academic field. Reimagining Global Health does this with scholarly rigor and political courage. This book will become essential reading for all those working in clinical, public health, and policy roles to address the daunting health disparities of our times.--Julio Frenk, Dean of the Harvard School of Public Health, T & G Angelopoulos Professor of Public Health and International Development, Former Minister of Health of Mexico (2000-2006) The past decade has seen an unprecedented explosion of interest in the health and welfare of marginalized communities around the world. Reimagining Global Health offers a critical approach to the contemporary global health landscape, while also tracing its historical antecedents and suggesting a way forward. This seminal work by leading figures in the field is a crucial next step for those interested in grappling with the modern reality of global health inequity. Without question, Reimagining Global Health is a salient volume that will shape global health research, practice, and knowledge for many years to come.--Ambassador Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS Inspired by practicing physicians like two of the authors of this book, Paul Farmer and Jim Kim, who won't take no for an answer when it comes to the universal right to health, many undergraduates, medical students and professional have turned to global health as their specialty and their calling. Until now, this nascent field did not have a unifying conceptual approach, let alone a text. This book, based on decades of practice and years of successfully teaching global health at Harvard, masterfully fills this gap. It presents a strong vision of health as a biological and social phenomenon, and illustrates how academics from different disciplines, and practitioners, must work together to understand not only what works, but how it can be sustainably delivered. Avoiding both cynicism or blind optimism, this book, like the authors in their work, is hopeful, practical, and demanding. It will become an unavoidable reference in the field. -Esther Duflo, Department of Economics, MIT and author of Poor Economics With its unwavering commitment to social justice and refreshingly lucid sense of possibility, Reimagining Global Health is an essential antidote to the deadly and inexcusable health disparities of our times. Combining deep social analysis and visceral human and institutional engagements, the authors of this momentous book re-socialize and politicize disease and health and, in the process, create a distinct and innovative grammar that will surely inspire and shape the work of generations of global health scholars and practitioners.--João Biehl, Princeton University From the interstices of medical knowledge and practices and the social sciences a new academic field of global health is emerging. While economists worship their methodology, and political scientists their great thinkers, global health has outflanked them all in the quest for real explanations and real solutions to the most pressing problem of the world's poor people. With this book, written by some of the field's pioneers, you can take the first step in orienting yourself in this fluid and inter-disciplinary endeavor. Iconoclastic and passionate in equal measure.--James Robinson, David Florence Professor of Government at Harvard University Lucky Harvard students! Having these teachers. And lucky students elsewhere when they have the chance to read this important book. I was familiar in one way or another with most of the material covered by this book and I could not put it down.--Michael Marmot, University College, London, Institute of Healthy Equity When I first invited Paul Farmer and Jim Kim to Rwanda ten years ago, it was not for business as usual. The partnership they committed to was working to break the cycle of poverty and disease in some of Rwanda's poorest districts. Together, through the leadership of the Rwandan public sector and the steadfast accompaniment of global visionaries including many co-authors of chapters in this book, we are redefining what is possible in health care delivery. Reimagining Global Health asks how the hard-won lessons learned along the way might be shared most widely and usefully. In these pages, students and practitioners across disciplines and contexts will find crucial questions for all those who would advance the human right to health. Rich case studies and incisive biosocial analysis throw the central importance of humility, constancy, and imagination into bold relief.--Dr. Agnes Binagwaho, Minister of Health of Rwanda; Senior Lecturer, Harvard Medical School; Clinical Professor of Pediatrics, Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth This inspiring book transforms the field of global health into a revolutionary global movement for human rights to combat the useless suffering imposed by North/South social inequality. The authors' historical, practice-based and theoretical arguments wrench the field out of its colonial-missionary roots and attack the contemporary greedy behemoths of Bio-Tech, Big Pharma, for-profit healthcare, and cost-benefit neoliberal triage logics to make Health for All a real possibility--as well as a universal human right to be enforced by political will, funding and democratic access to technology.--Philippe Bourgois author of Righteous Dopefiend and of In Search of Respect: Selling Crack in El Barrio . Reimagining Global Health is a well written text based on extensive research, teaching and practical experience. The fact that it is based on three years of teaching a course implies that it has been finely honed by responses from students. It is superbly researched and written and provides many new angles and fresh perspectives.--Solly Benatar, Professor, Dalla School of Public Health and Joint Centre for Bioethics, University of Toronto