The right to health under capitalism

Threats, confrontations, and possibilities

Authored by: César Abadía-Barrero , Adriana Ardila-Sierra

Routledge Handbook on the Politics of Global Health

Print publication date:  December  2018
Online publication date:  December  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138238596
eBook ISBN: 9781315297255
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315297255-3

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Abstract

The widespread knowledge of atrocities committed during the Second World War, specifically the violations of human rights in territories controlled by the Nazis, elevated human rights as the most important moral idea concerning social justice, with significant discursive roles and practical implications (Beitz, 2009; Moyn, 2010). The aftermath of the war also saw the reconfiguration of the world economy and the emergence of the United States as the world’s foremost economic and military power. In this chapter, we establish a dialogue between critical political economy and critical human rights scholarship to show how, since they were first recognised, human rights have been challenged and transformed by the profit needs of the capitalist system. We will argue that market and popular demands for justice are repeatedly co-produced (Abadía-Barrero, 2015; Iriart, et al., 2011) and that pushing forward an emancipatory human rights agenda entails a confrontation with core capitalist interests.

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