Analysing power and politics in health policies and systems

Global Public Health
Volume 14, 2019   Issue 4

Special Issue: Analysing power and politics in health policies and systems;
Guest Editors: Radhika Gore and Richard Parker 
Analysing power and politics in health policies and systems
Radhika Gore & Richard Parker
Pages: 481-488
Published online: 16 Feb 2019
This special issue of Global Public Health presents a collection of articles that analyse power and its mechanisms in health systems and health policy processes. Researchers have long noted that the influence of power is implicated throughout the global health field, yet theories and methods for examining power—its sources, workings, and effects—are rarely applied in health policy and systems research. By engaging with the social sciences and humanities, contributors to this collection aim to analytically sharpen and thematically broaden the study of power and politics in global health. Contributors analyse the exercise of power by actors typically considered powerful on the global stage as well as actors across the health system who may be powerful in national or local contexts. Additionally, the papers draw attention to actors, interest groups, and practices not usually viewed as politically salient in health policy and systems research in low- and middle-income countries. The papers not only analyse power but also identify ways to counteract it, such as by using human rights-based frameworks to investigate and challenge power asymmetries. Collectively, they show how researchers working on global health issues can theorise power and deepen political analysis of health policy and systems.