INTRODUCTION TO THE SPECIAL ISSUE ON THE POLITICAL ECONOMY OF CHILDREN’S HEALTH
A political economy approach to children’s health considers how the economic and political systems of a jurisdiction influence the public policies that shape children’s health. It moves beyond the concrete and observable to look at the societal structures and processes that distribute the material and social resources to families and children that can either support or threaten children’s health. This special issue presents a number of articles from Canada, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States that show how profoundly important these issues are to understanding and acting to improve children’s health. As such, these articles provide a useful counterpoint to prevailing notions of children’s health, which all too often are focused solely on the creation and delivery of services and attempts to change health-related behaviours. While these other issues are important, it is essential to identify and act to modify the too-frequently neglected structures and processes of society that create the public policies that shape the essential social determinants of children’s health.
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