Public Health and Precarity

International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics 13 (2):108-130 (2020)
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One branch of bioethics assumes that mainly agents of the state are responsible for public health. Following Susan Sherwin’s relational ethics, we suggest moving away from a “state-centered” approach toward a more thoroughly relational approach. Indeed, certain agents must be reconstituted in and through shifting relations with others, complicating discussions of responsibility for public health. Drawing on two case studies—the health politics and activism of the Black Panther Party and the work of the Common Ground Collective in post-Katrina New Orleans—we argue for the need to attend more carefully to the limitations of states and state-driven public health programs.

Author Profiles

Michael Doan
Oakland University
Ami Harbin
Oakland University


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