Published online by Cambridge University Press: 22 September 2009
In this concluding chapter, we focus on key lessons from the preceding chapters concerning the potential impacts of globalisation on the making of health policy, particularly policy affecting the health of populations in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The contested nature of the globalisation and health policy debate was touched upon in the introductory chapter. The political left and right, as well as groups in the North and South, among others, advance divergent claims, counter-claims and speculation regarding the impact of globalisation on health policy. Regrettably, these claims are too rarely based on empirical analysis. This book represents an attempt to infuse into the debate analysis on a selected range of health policy issues.
In light of our understanding of globalisation, as a set of processes that are transforming the nature of human interaction across a wide range of spheres (e.g. social, political, economic and technological) and along three dimensions of change (spatial, cognitive and temporal), we begin with the assumption that globalisation has altered the world of policy-making in tangible ways. Evidence of this is manifest in the answers to a range of questions that this concluding chapter seeks to explore. In what ways, and to what extent, can health issues be considered global? How is globalisation changing the nature of the challenges faced by policy-makers? How do determinants of health that are transnational in nature affect the type of issues on the health agenda?