Responsibility for global health

Allen Buchanan, Matthew Decamp

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Scopus citations


Introduction Growing concern about global health “Global health” is becoming a fashionable term among scholars, human rights activists, state officials, leaders of international and transnational organizations and others. Until recently, health as a matter of collective concern largely implied national health. When the health problems of people in other countries became a public issue, it was usually within the confines of the notion of disaster relief, short-term responses to acute health crises caused by natural disasters or wars. Global health is a relatively new category of moral concern, empirical investigation and institutional action. There are several reasons for the current prominence of global health issues. First, there is a widening recognition that some major risks to health are global in three senses: Their adverse impact on health is potentially worldwide, the conditions for their occurrence include various transnational dependencies that are lumped together under the rubric of globalization and an effective response to them requires cooperation on a global scale. Examples of global health risks that are global in each of these three senses include emerging infections, pollution of the oceans, depletion of the ozone layer, global warming, nuclear terrorism and bioterrorism. Second, due to the revolution in information technologies and the emergence of transnational epistemic communities equipped with powerful empirical methodologies for measuring and explaining health and disease, we now know more about the health problems of people in other countries than ever before.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationGlobal Health and Global Health Ethics
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)9780511984792
ISBN (Print)9780521146777
StatePublished - Jan 1 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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