Imperialism's Health Component

Authors

  • Howard Waitzkin
  • Rebeca Jasso-Aguilar

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-067-03-2015-07_8

Keywords:

Health, Imperialism, Inequality

Abstract

Medicine and public health have played important roles in imperialism. With the emergence of the United States as an imperial power in the early twentieth century, interlinkages between imperialism, public health, and health institutions were forged through several key mediating institutions. Philanthropic organizations sought to use public health initiatives to address several challenges faced by expanding capitalist enterprises: labor productivity, safety for investors and managers, and the costs of care. From modest origins, international financial institutions and trade agreements eventually morphed into a massive structure of trade rules that have exerted profound effects on public health and health services worldwide. International health organizations have collaborated with corporate interests to protect commerce and trade. In this article we clarify the connections among these mediating institutions and imperialism.

Published

2015-07-08

Issue

Section

Articles