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Chapter 9

L48 Anthro 3283 Chapter Notes - Chapter 9: Global Health, Michael J. Sandel, Evry


Department
Anthropology
Course Code
L48 Anthro 3283
Professor
Benson Peter
Chapter
9

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RGH Ch. 9 Values and Global Health Part 2
Human Rights
John Locke, Rousseau, and Thomas Paine developed the notion that autonomous, rational
individuals (mainly wealthy, men) deserved certain freedoms and abilities
oPerceived the coercive power of the state as a grave threat to individual liberty
and well-being
oConcept of rights was linked to freedom of certain individuals from state control;
rights represented boundaries around the individuals that the state should not
transgress
France’s Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen (1789) and U.S. Bill of
Rights (1791) enshrined these ideals in Western thought and practice
oIdea of social and economic rights
Isaiah Berlin’s distinction between “negative liberties” such as freedom and coercion, and
“positive liberties,” the state’s obligations to provide public services that are essential to
freedom and agency
Adam Smith’s Wealth of Nations (1776) calls for publicly financed education
Paine’s Right of Man (1791) promotes a welfare state
Mills’ Principles of Political Economy (1848) suggest a state-provided education, health
care, and a basic standard of living
Political theorist Hannah Arendt argued that rights exist independently and should not be
dependent on government’s ability or willingness to uphold them
oPointed to rise of totalitarian states like Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s Russia
oAsserts that every human has a right to have rights, an essential right to the modes
of action that define human condition
1948, UN adopted Universal Declaration of Human Rights – basic entitlements for evry
human being; makes little distinction between civil and political rights vs. social and
economic rights
osought to transcend political legacies in order to “promote social progress and
better standards of life in larger freedom”
consensus was short lived; Cold War divisions found their way to human rights; the U.S.
and its allies promotes political and civil rights as inalienable freedoms, while Soviet
Union promoted social and economic rights as a duty of the state
oIntl. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and Intl.
Covenant on Civil and Political Rights as written to defend the 2 ideologies
U.S has not signed the Intl. Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights nor
endorsed the right to health care for its own citizens
fulfilling human rights claims, at least in the context of global health and development,
would in most cases require broad-based social change
Health as a Human Right
ICESCR embraces a broad conception of health that encompasses social determinants
such as nutrition, access to care, and basic living conditions as well as political factors
such as nondiscrimination
Another view is that health care could be delivered more efficiently and equitably by
private markets
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