Health is supremely political. It mirrors a society’s most rudimentary status, answering questions such as ‘Who dies?’, ‘Who lives?’, ‘Who suffers?’, ‘Who thrives?’, ‘Who pays?’, and ‘Who cares?’ Global health adds to this complexity by elevating the level of analysis to the transnational and the multilateral. It is no surprise that the cognate and interdisciplinary fields of study of Global Health Governance and the Global Health Humanities have gained such traction over the past decade or so. Since the turn of the millennium global spending on global health has exploded, and the (re-)emergence of horrors such as Ebola, Zika, AIDS, and antibiotic resistance have brought home to governments and citizens alike the immediacy and primacy of health challenges.
Health in Africa – whether this refers to the health of Africans or the health status of health systems on the continent – remains grossly neglected and ignored. Despite the fact that Africans have by far the highest disease burden in the world, and by far the lowest access to health services and funding, the continent and its peoples hardly feature as a priority area for the study and practice of Global Health Governance or the Global Health Humanities. ‘Health in Africa’ only really features in two instances: as a monolithic construct (1) in the study of Health Security (where Africa represents health insecurity, the great unwashed), and (2) as the object, the recipient of external health ‘best practice’ policy measures conceived of and prescribed by the global development industry.
Since colonial times Africa has been and continues to be the object rather than the subject of health sovereignty. There is no more dramatic illustration of this than even a cursory view of who is represented in the World Health Assembly, on the editorial boards of academic journals devoted to the study of global health and disease, or in the senior management of UN and specifically multilateral health agencies. The global health scholarly agenda is set by and for a mostly white and a mostly Western audience. This book series aims to democratize the global health agenda, and allow more voices to be heard by focusing on health in Africa from a social science perspective. It will include single-authored monographs, multi-authored books, edited collections, and high quality thesis conversions, aimed at postgraduate researchers, academics, policy workers nationally and multilaterally, and health governance practitioners.
To submit a book proposal for this seriesplease contact:
Pieter Fourie firstname.lastname@example.org and Leanne Hinves Leanne.Hinves@tandf.co.uk