Recent social epidemiologic research has focused on the impact of politics, expressed as political traditions or parties and welfare state characteristics, on population health. Guided by a political economy of health and welfare regimes framework, this chapter synthesizes this growing body of evidence and locates 73 empirical and comparative studies on politics and health meeting our inclusion criteria. Two major research programs - welfare regimes and democracy - and two emerging programs - political tradition and globalization - are identified. Primary findings include: (1) left and egalitarian political traditions on population health are the most salutary, consistent and substantial; (2) the health impacts of advanced and liberal democracies are also positive and large; (3) welfare regime studies, primarily conducted amongst wealthy countries, find that Social Democratic regimes tend to fare best with absolute health outcomes yet inconsistently in terms of relative health inequalities; and (4) globalization defined as dependency indicators such as trade, foreign investment and national debt is negatively associated with population health.
|Title of host publication||Rethinking Social Epidemiology|
|Subtitle of host publication||Towards a Science of Change|
|Number of pages||28|
|ISBN (Print)||9400721374, 9789400721371|
|Publication status||Published - 2012 Aug 1|
ASJC Scopus subject areas