Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Global Health Challenges for Human Security

Academic journal article Canadian Journal of Public Health

Global Health Challenges for Human Security

Article excerpt

Global Health Challenges for Human Security Lincoln Chen, Jennifer Leaning, and Vasant Narasimhan (Eds.), Published by Global Equity Initiative, Asia Center, Harvard University Cambridge, Massachusetts and London, England: Harvard University Press, 2003; 310 pp.

The basic premise of this text is to explore the connection between health and human security, and in the process, to further clarify the concept of human security. The editors and contributors make an effort to define the concept of human security, its history, evolution, and its importance to our understanding of the determinants of health. Their objective is to expand the concept of human security beyond the confines of what they term "the traditional approach of national security by military defense". From the perspective of a Canadian public health professional, this has not been the point of departure when we talk about security and health. We are more likely to define the concept in terms of food security, social security, and many other broad threats to security that can impact health.

There are fifteen papers in this volume, organized into four sections: history, ethics and policies; global epidemics; violence and risks; and poverty and health action. Some of the highlights of the book include the discussion of health and security in historical perspective by Simon Szreter (University of Cambridge). He discusses lessons learned from British history (which are not necessarily complementary) and progresses to a critique of corporate America and the International Monetary Fund. …

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