1963-2013 - 50 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Social Policy and Development (2000 - 2009)

Globalization, Inequality and Health Care

  • Project from: 2001 to 2004


This project falls within the UNRISD research on Social Policy in a Development Context. It also forms part of a broader programme of collaborative research titled Le Défi Social du Développment (The Social Challenge of Development) undertaken with the Institut Universitaire des Etudes du Développment, the Département d'Economie Politique de l'Université de Genève, the Faculté des Sciences Sociales de l'Université de Lausanne, the Association Internationale de Sécurité Sociale (AISS), and the Association Réalise in Geneva. The research programme is supported by RUIG, the Réseau Universitaire International de Genève, a foundation created by the Swiss authorities to encourage academic collaboration between United Nations agencies and Swiss academic institutions. The broader research programme explores the challenge posed by globalization for inequality and programmes of social protection worldwide.

The UNRISD component of this research is titled Globalization, Inequality and Health Care. The project investigates the nexus of interconnections between health care commercialization and social and economic inequality in a number of country contexts, and its connections to "globalization" pressures. The project includes analysis of the distinctive patterns of commercialization characteristic of low and middle income contexts; specific impacts of globalization on health, including migration, occupational health and safety, and the loss of local pharmaceutical production; original analysis of the patterning of public and private health care use by lower and higher income groups, identifying the heavy cost of private and fee-for-service care for the poor in low income contexts; and the need for selective blocking of commercialization if inequity in health care is to be reduced.

Draft versions of commissioned papers for the project on Bulgaria, South Africa, Mali, Switzerland and Viet Nam are available on this site, as is an overview paper on the project. An additional paper on the Russian Federation is also available. To read these papers, click Unpublished Papers on the right.

The RUIG programme website, www.dsd-ruig.org, provides an overview of the programme as a whole, as well as access to all commissioned papers, including research from the same set of countries on the other programme topics: macroeconomic policy and inequality, education and inequality, and social protection policies.