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Governing Public Health

EU Law, Regulation and Biopolitics

By: Mark Flear
Media of Governing Public Health
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Published: 30-07-2015
Format: PDF eBook (?)
Edition: 1st
Extent: 304
ISBN: 9781782259749
Imprint: Hart Publishing
RRP: £28.79
Online price : £23.03
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About Governing Public Health

This book contributes towards EU studies and the growing discourse on law and public health. It uses the EU's governance of public health as a lens through which to explore questions of legal competence and its development through policy and concrete techniques, processes and practices, risk and security, human rights and bioethics, accountability and legitimacy, democracy and citizenship, and the nature, essence and 'future trajectory' of the European integration project. These issues are explored first by situating the EU's public health strategy within the overarching architecture of governance and subsequently by examining its operationalisation in relation to the key public health problems of cancer, HIV/AIDS and pandemic planning.

The book argues that the centrality and valorisation of scientific and technical knowledge and expertise in the EU's risk-based governance means that citizen participation in decision-making is largely marginalised and underdeveloped – and that this must change if public health and the quality, accountability and legitimacy of EU governance and its regulation are to be improved. Subsequently the book goes on to argue that the legitimating discourses of ethics and human rights, and the developing notion of EU (supra-)stewardship responsibility, can help to highlight the normative dimensions of governance and its interventions in public health. These discourses and dimensions provide openings and possibilities for citizens to power 'technologies of participation' and contribute important supplementary knowledge to decision-making.

Table Of Contents

1. Context, Approach and Overview
I. Introduction
II. Law, Public Health and Participation
III. Governing in Late Modernity: Theory, Concepts and Methods
IV. Overview
Part I: Governing Public Health
2. EU Public Health Governance: From the Overarching Architecture to the Health Strategy
I. Introduction
II. The EU and Public Health: Legal Competence, Governance and Responsibility
III. Operationalising the Overarching Strategy in the Field of Public Health: Together for Health
IV. Structured Cooperation: Public Health Policy Implementation and the Health Programmes
V. Conclusion
3. Cancer
I. Introduction
II. From the Overarching Architecture of Governance to Action Against Cancer: European Partnership via Together for Health
III. European Partnership for Action Against Cancer
IV. Conclusion
I. Introduction
II. From the Overarching Architecture of Governance to Combating HIV/AIDS within the EU and in the NeighbouringCountries - Reflecting Together for Health
III. Taking Action: Combating HIV/AIDS within the EU and in the Neighbouring Countries
IV. Technologies for the Gathering and Production of Knowledge
V. Conclusion
5. Pandemics and Beyond
I. Introduction
II. From the Overarching Architecture of Governance to Pandemic Influenza Preparedness - Reflecting
Together for Health
III. Governing the Future Through Preparedness Planning
IV. Conclusion
Part II: Enhancing Citizen Participation in Governing Public Health
6. Citizen Participation in Governing: Discursive Resources,
Tools and Spaces
I. Introduction
II. Summary of the Findings So Far
III. Risk, Public Health and Citizen Participation
IV. Opening Discursive Space and Powering Technologies of Participation
V. Conclusion
7. Querying Framing and Knowledge Production: Risk, Numbers, Measurement and Evaluation
I. Introduction
II. Querying Risk
III. Querying Scientific and Technical Knowledge Production
IV. Clinical Trials
V. Conclusion
8. Querying Interventions: Magic Bullet Responses and Technological Fixes
I. Introduction
II. Interventions
III. Pharmaceuticals Abroad: Access, Prioritisation and Triage
IV. Conclusion
9. Conclusion


Governing Public Health defies disciplinary boundaries; it brings together insights from sociology, political science, law and critical legal studies in order to uncover the complex regulation of public health in the European Union. It is a timely book which will appeal to scholars of the European Union in many disciplines. It provides an indispensable roadmap to the links between law, (bio)politics and citizen engagement in the regulation of public health.” –  From the foreword by Professor Dora Kostakopoulou, School of Law, University of Warwick, 2015

Governing Public Health stands on its own, as it masterfully blends together law, politics, sociology and numerous other disciplines to come up with a picture of the EU as an agent of biopolitics, which is as plausible as it is potentially disturbing. The book is an attack on the distortions and pitfalls of the dominant risk-based model of public health governance, representing the first --- long overdue! --- biopolitical analysis of EU law. Flear's crusade is to overturn our accepted vision of managing public health by arguing that the governed have the capacity to contribute important supplementary knowledge on the distortion and pitfalls in order to improve governance. This book deserves all respect and admiration.” –  Professor Dimitry Kochenov, University of Groningen

“This book focusses on participation as a possible mediator of the relationship between law, one the one hand, and science and technology on the other. It argues that the tension between the democratic and technocratic aspects of regulation could, perhaps, be reduced by the use of participatory processes. That argument has a wider resonance than the public health field on which the book concentrates. EU scholars in the diverse fields where expertise and preferences circle each other nervously will want to study and apply the book's central ideas, and will find that they are clearly and attractively presented, and gain authority from the range of theory on which he relies.” –  Professor Gareth Davies, VU University Amsterdam

“Flear…has written a very fine…book in Governing Public Health…. [It] is a thoroughly well-researched and interdisciplinary book that produces insightful and positive prescriptions for improving governance and the relationship between the state/supranational union and its citizens. Flear is clearly passionate about increasing the substantive involvement of 'the governed' in governing so that their needs, however so defined, are better met and respected…Governing Public Health merits reading and deep deliberation by all scholars interested in law and public health (including outside the EU) and the vital roles of the citizen in modern governance and democracy.” –  Edward S. Dove, SCRIPTed

“This is an interdisciplinary book which may appeal to scholars of a variety of disciplines. It provides a guide to find a link between law, politics and citizen engagement in public health regulation. (Translated from the original Italian)” –  Rivista Trimestrale del diritto pubblico

“There is much in this book which will be of significant interest to those who seek to develop an understanding of the engagement of EU law with public health…. [This] book is likely to serve as a stimulus for future research…on the relation between 'the governed' and the governance of public health by the EU. Understood in those terms, this is a scholarly and highly valuable analysis that provides much food for thought about the nature and limitations of governance in late modernity, and as such it is likely to find an appreciative readership both within EU studies and well beyond.” –  Prof Keith Syrett, Cardiff Law School, Yearbook of European Law

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