Magazine article New Internationalist

How Politics Makes Us Sick

Magazine article New Internationalist

How Politics Makes Us Sick

Article excerpt

How Politics Makes Us Sick by Ted Schrecker and Clare Bambra (Palgrave Macmillan, ISBN 9781137463098)

This short, densely argued book by two academics is a study of the impact of neoliberal political policies on the general health and wellbeing of the populace at large. Drawing on their own research and that of others across Britain, Europe and the United States, the authors argue that austerity, privatization, welfare cuts and employment deregulation have a massive detrimental effect on the health of ordinary people.

Focusing on four sectors of study - obesity, stress, austerity and inequality - Schrecker and Bambra contend that the ideological imperative underpinning social policy in these areas constitutes what they call 'neoliberal epidemics'. They justify their use of the emotive word 'epidemic' with the argument that, since the 1980s we have seen a rapid transmission of austerity politics across borders and through continents at a rate analogous to that of biological contagions. …

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