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Health, Politics, and Economic Growth since 1750

Health, Politics and Economic Growth since 1750

(Prof S Szreter)


Most developed countries have experienced dramatic increases in health during the last two centuries, associated with the economic growth of the modern period. This paper examines more closely the relationship between economic growth and health according to the detailed historical record. The richly-documented British case will provide a central focus but comparative material will be considered. The course will explore the complexities of the relationship between economic growth and health, and the need to understand the crucial role of social institutions and political conflict in determining health outcomes for populations participating in rapid economic change. Students will be encouraged to pursue contemporary implications of policy relevance.

Seminar Topics

Part I

Class 1: Post-war development orthodoxies and approaches to population health

Class 2: Alternative interpretations of the core evidence: modern Britain's epidemiological history

Part II

Classes 3-7: The relationship between economic growth, health and politics in Britain since 1750

Class 3-1750-1815, Class 4- 1815-1870, Classes 5 & 6 1850-1914

Class 7-Since 1914

Part III

Class 8 Critical reflections on health, politics and economic development