Global Health: An Introduction to Current and Future Trends (Paperback) book cover

Global Health

An Introduction to Current and Future Trends

By Kevin McCracken, David R. Phillips

© 2012 – Routledge

352 pages

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Paperback: 9780415557573
pub: 2012-06-07
Hardback: 9780415557566
pub: 2012-06-07

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The health of human populations around the world is constantly changing and the health profiles of most nations in the early twenty-first century global health landscape are unrecognizable compared with those of just a century ago.

This book examines and explains these health changes and considers likely future patterns and changes. While the overall picture charted is one of progress and improvement, certain unfortunate regressions and stubbornly persistent health inequalities are equally shown to be part of the evolving patterns of global health.

The chapters of the book are organized in three major parts:

  • The first part introduces readers to the principal concepts of global health, and to the idea of populations having distinctive health profiles. In particular, it explores how those profiles can be measured, and how they change, using the umbrella concepts and theories of epidemiological and health transition.
  • Building on the first section, the second part focuses on the evolution of health states, as well as paying particular attention to the reasons for the many subnational inequalities in global health. It also examines health challenges such as the continuing infectious disease burden and current emerging ‘epidemics’.
  • The final part transports readers from the current health scene to future possible and probable health scenarios, acknowledging the challenges presented by global environmental change, as well as issues centred around geopolitics and human security.

Using clear and original explanations of complex issues, this text makes extensive use of boxed case studies and international examples, with thought-provoking discussion questions posed for readers at the end of each chapter. Global Health is essential reading for students of global health, public health and development studies.


‘This is a comprehensive and highly detailed text covering every imaginable facet of global health, from epidemiological concepts, data and measurements to the sociopolitical and ecological influences on people’s health around the world (…) [T]his is a highly readable book written in an intelligent and thought provoking style (…) [A]nyone with an interest in international health, politics, sociology or health economics would gain much from reading it.’ - Nursing Times, April 2014

‘This text provides a solid basis from which to form a sound appreciation of the measurement and determinants of and potential solutions to our most pervasive global health concepts and challenges (…) [T]he scope of the text is impressive and will amply serve any student of public health or global health (…) The physical design of the text makes navigation effortless (…) [D]iscussion points at the end of each chapter are also conveniently prepared to drive discussion in class or for assignment (…) [The authors] have crafted a comprehensive yet accessible text that is as well suited for graduate students as for researchers working in the field' - New Zealand Geographer, 2014

'Global Health is a tricky subject to cover in a single text, and many previous attempts end up being too dense and long for most readers, or too superficial in their discussion of complex issues. Global Health: An introduction to Current and Future Trends manages to be both concise and comprehensive, and is extremely readable - making it a fantastic primer for global health students and practitioners alike.' - Global Health Gateway, 2012

Table of Contents

Part 1: Concepts, Data, Measurement, Explanations 1. Global Health: An Introduction 2. Measuring Population Health and Disease 3. The Determinants of Population Health Part 2: Global Health and Health Transition – Past and Present – Places and Groups 4. Global Health: Where We Are and How We Got There 5. Global Health: Subnational Inequalities 6. Age and Lifecourse Transitions in Health 7. Major Contemporary Challenges in Global Health Part 3: Global Health Futures: Future Transitions and Health Planning 8. Health Systems, Finance and Planning 9. Global Environmental Change and Health 10. Geopolitics, Human Security and Health 11. Global Health Futures?

About the Authors

Kevin McCracken is an Honorary Fellow at Macquarie University, Australia and an Honorary Professor at Lingnan University, Hong Kong.

David R. Phillips is a Chair Professor at Lingnan University, Hong Kong, and an Adjunct Professor at Macquarie University, Australia.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
MEDICAL / Epidemiology
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography