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The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and Their Effects on National Security and Development


  • Andrew T. Price-Smith

    () (University of South Florida)


In recent decades, new pathogens such as HIV, the Ebola virus, and the BSE prion have emerged, while old scourges such as tuberculosis, cholera, and malaria have grown increasingly resistant to treatment. The global spread of disease does not threaten the human species, but it threatens the prosperity and stability of human societies. In this pathbreaking book, Andrew Price-Smith investigates the influence of infectious disease on nations' stability and prosperity. He also provides a theoretical and empirical foundation for the emerging field of health security. Price-Smith shows that the global proliferation of infectious disease will limit the ability of states to govern themselves effectively and to maximize their economic power. Because infectious disease can cause poverty, intra-state violence and political instability may increase. This in turn may have negative long-term effects on regional economic and political stability, damaging international relations and development. Price-Smith takes an interdisciplinary approach to topics ranging from the effects of global environmental change on the spread of disease to the feedback loop between public health and the strength of a nation's economy and its political stability over time. As the proliferation of infectious disease threatens international stability and the policy interests of the United States in years to come, its study will become an increasingly important subfield of political science.

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew T. Price-Smith, 2001. "The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and Their Effects on National Security and Development," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262661233, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262661233

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Van Wijnbergen, Sweden, 1986. "On fiscal deficits, the real exchange rate and the world rate of interest," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 1013-1023, October.
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    4. Sutherland, Alan, 1997. "Fiscal crises and aggregate demand: can high public debt reverse the effects of fiscal policy?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 147-162, August.
    5. Menahem E. Yaari, 1965. "Uncertain Lifetime, Life Insurance, and the Theory of the Consumer," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 32(2), pages 137-150.
    6. Robert Summers & Alan Heston, 1991. "The Penn World Table (Mark 5): An Expanded Set of International Comparisons, 1950–1988," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 327-368.
    7. Uzawa, H, 1969. "Time Preference and the Penrose Effect in a Two-Class Model of Economic Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 77(4), pages 628-652, Part II, .
    8. van Wijnbergen, Sweder, 1987. "Tariffs, Employment and the Current Account: Real Wage Resistance and the Macroeconomics of Protectionism," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 28(3), pages 691-706, October.
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    More about this item


    infectious disease; political stability; health security;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • F52 - International Economics - - International Relations, National Security, and International Political Economy - - - National Security; Economic Nationalism


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