This analysis of the political and social forces that shape the well-being and quality of life of populations in developed capitalist countries is written by scholars based in several different countries. The book shows how the varying political traditions in the developed world - social democratic, Christian democratic, conservative, and liberal traditions - have affected populations' health and quality of life in the western democracies. The contributors also analyze the public and social policies derived from each of these political traditions that have affected levels of social inequality (through changes in the welfare states and labor markets) and on health and quality of life.
2. The Importance of the Political and the Social in Explaining Mortality Differentials among the Countries of the OECD, 1950-1998 Vicente Navarro, Carme Borrell, Joan Benach, Carles Muntaner, Agueda Quiroga, Maica Rodríguez-Sanz, Nuria Vergés, Jordi Gumá, and M. Isabel Pasarín
3. Do Social Policies and Political Context Matter for Health in the United Kingdom? Tim Doran and Margaret Whitehead
4. Individual and Contextual Determinants of Inequalities in Health: The Italian Case Giuseppe Costa, Antonio Caiazzo, Chiara Marinacci, and Teresa Spadea
5. Regional Differences in Trends in Life Expectancy and the Influence of the Political and Socioeconomic Contexts in Germany Uwe Helmert, Waldemar Streich, and Dieter Borgers
6. Power Relations and Premature Mortality in Spain’s Autonomous Communities Maica Rodríguez-Sanz, Carme Borrell, Rosa Urbanos, M. Isabel Pasarín, Ana Rico, Marta Fraile, Xavier Ramos, and Vicente Navarro
7. Social Differentials in the Decline of Infant Mortality in Sweden in the Twentieth Century: The Impact of Politics and Policy Bo Burström
8. Summary and Conclusions of the Study Vicente Navarro, Margaret Whitehead, Tim Doran, Bo Burström, Uwe Helmert, Giuseppe Costa, and Carme Borrell