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POL469H1 Lecture Notes - Capability Approach, Child Labour, World Social Forum

Political Science
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Lecture outline Oct 17
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- How we frame an issue is structurally and historically conditioned
- Many countries have not been able to break out of structural constraints imposed on them
- Importance of understanding history: looking at modernization, dependency theory
- Amartya Sen- rethink development as more than just economic growth, focus on individual freedoms
- Civil society organization
- Philanthropic organization- trying to play the part of a development actor, changing the landscape of
Key issues:
Health and development
- How health can be better understood from the perspective of capability?
- Our understanding today is colored by our understanding of the past
- Relationship between development and health?
- Health is a messy concept!
- What is health? Student definitions: Physical and medical well-being, lack of disease, holistic being:
Common conceptions

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- Definition of health as lack of disease is parallel to the definition of poverty as lack of wealth fallacies.
These definitions have policy implications
- How the definition of health has changed over time?
- What are the social determinants of health? We think of things as separate.
- Drug targets specific condition, provides solution to problem although a condition can be a result of a
complex set of factors
- Looking at the social context, the political and economic environment and their role in the population’s
health and individuals
Health is not simply a medical but also a social and human rights issue
- Corporations are playing a part as development actors
- Coca cola as a global brand that has an ability to reach almost every part of the world.
- The Global Fund- public private partnerships (many organizations participate in it): contribute a lot of
money towards finding cures for wide spread diseases in Africa
- Enlisting Coca Cola because it has access to almost every part of the world. They have the networks,
people, computer networks, good inventory tracking systems.
What are the positive/negative things about the Global Funds collaboration with Coke? Coke
distributing medicine when distributing their product
- Coke goes only to places where they can sell their products
- Box of medicine, needles how does it get to the people if there is no medical personnel? Assumption
that getting the medicine there will fix the problem, but what about the infrastructure of administering
the medicine
- Technical solution: trying to solve a wrong problem
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