Blind Spot: How Neoliberalism Infiltrated Global Health

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Univ of California Press, Aug 16, 2014 - Social Science - 288 pages
Neoliberalism has been the defining paradigm in global health since the latter part of the twentieth century. What started as an untested and unproven theory that the creation of unfettered markets would give rise to political democracy led to policies that promoted the belief that private markets were the optimal agents for the distribution of social goods, including health care.

A vivid illustration of the infiltration of neoliberal ideology into the design and implementation of development programs, this case study, set in post-Soviet Tajikistan’s remote eastern province of Badakhshan, draws on extensive ethnographic and historical material to examine a "revolving drug fund" program—used by numerous nongovernmental organizations globally to address shortages of high-quality pharmaceuticals in poor communities. Provocative, rigorous, and accessible, Blind Spot offers a cautionary tale about the forces driving decision making in health and development policy today, illustrating how the privatization of health care can have catastrophic outcomes for some of the world’s most vulnerable populations.
 

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Contents

A World Transformed
1
THE SOVIET WORLD MEETS ITS GLOBAL COUNTERPARTS
19
THE CRISIS AND THE RESPONSE
47
VILLAGE HEALTH MEETS THE GLOBAL ECONOMY
83
NEOLIBERAL SUCCESS GLOBAL HEALTH FAILURE
111
Notes
145
Bibliography
185
Index
231
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About the author (2014)

Salmaan Keshavjee is a physician and anthropologist with more than two decades of experience working in global health. He is the Director of the Program in Infectious Disease and Social Change in the Department of Global Health at Harvard Medical School, where he is also Associate Professor of Global Health and Social Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine. He also serves on the faculty of the Division of Global Health Equity (DGHE) at Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital, and is a physician in the Department of Medicine.

Paul Farmer is cofounder of Partners In Health and Chair of the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School. His most recent book is Reimagining Global Health. Other titles include To Repair the World; Pathologies of Power: Health, Human Rights, and the New War on the Poor; Infections and Inequalities: The Modern Plagues; and AIDS and Accusation: Haiti and the Geography of Blame, all by UC Press.

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