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Global health handbook fills a gap

Professor wanted a book to exist, so he created it

Assistant Professor Jonathan Garcia saw a gap of resources in the global health field. He decided to do something about it and co-edited the “Routledge Handbook on the Politics of Global Health.”

“There was a large need for a book that critically evaluates global health initiatives from a political perspective, especially as it relates to the global South,” Jonathan says. “We also observed that the field of global health largely ignored marginalized populations living in pockets of social, economic and cultural exclusion within so-called developed nations.”

Jonathan and his co-editor, Richard Parker, PhD, submitted a book proposal with the intention of filling this gap. To create the book, they curated contributions from distinguished authors from around the world. The book’s eight sections explore:

  • Critical perspectives on global health
  • Globalization, neoliberalism and health systems
  • The changing shape of global health governance
  • Development assistance and the politics of global health
  • Scale-up, scale-down, and the sustainability of global health programs
  • Intellectual property rights, trade relations and global health
  • Humanitarian emergencies and global health politics
  • Human rights, social justice and global health

Jonathan says the handbook critiques the development of the global health field and analyzes the tendency for solutions to be exported to locations where they are perceived to be needed, with little involvement of those supposedly in need.

“Perhaps most important, this handbook explicitly seeks to give equal representation to Southern voices and visions, understanding them as every bit as important as their Northern counterparts for building the kinds of analysis and interpretations of the field of global health and the responses that are needed to address the challenges facing this field now and in the future,” Jonathan says.

The handbook was developed for people working in health, human rights, political science, social policy and development. Jonathan says they hope the book will also appeal to activists, advocates and practitioners around the globe.

“The cover of the book features an upside-down map of the world,” Jonathan says. “This has several meanings for us, including the need to place perspectives from the global South on top of decision-making as well as to reference the upside-down nature of world political affairs.”

Jonathan is the director of the College of Public Health and Human Sciences’ global health program and is currently working on a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded project to combat social isolation among Latino lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth living in the United States.

Learn more about the global health handbook.