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Climate change: How scientism has neutralised health policy effectiveness for rural communities


Bell, E and Seidel, B and Kilpatrick, S, Climate change: How scientism has neutralised health policy effectiveness for rural communities, Journal of Rural Studies, 32 pp. 365-374. ISSN 0743-0167 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2013 Elsevier

DOI: doi:10.1016/j.jrurstud.2013.09.001


Many countries have developed, or are in the process of developing, climate change adaptation policy statements, including for health. What knowledge do these policy statements value? How are rural community and Indigenous knowledges included? What are the implications of the answers to these questions for effective adaptation policy for health, particularly for rural communities? These potentially influential government policy statements have not yet been collectively analysed for the ways they reproduce particular discourses in the operation of their meaning-making for health adaptation. This international study investigates and maps health adaptation policy via a discourse analysis of an exhaustive set of twenty-one national adaptation policy documents from twelve Annex 1 countries in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The study uses the techniques of critical discourse analysis to reveal that the national policy texts operate within an ordered universe of discourses that most values climate science and epidemiology and least values local community knowledge, needs and adaptive assets. This is true even for the discourse that emphasises particular forms of translational knowledge and methods for health services development critical to adaptation in these communities. In this respect, national adaptation policy, including for health, does not appear consistent with the prescriptions of global policy frameworks provided by the UN and WHO which emphasise local knowledges. The studyís findings are explored with reference to critiques of scientism and Foucaultís metaphor of the panopticon to suggest how national policy has worked as a mechanism for the appropriation, governance and regulation of rural communities, limiting its effectiveness.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:climate change policy, climate change and health, climate adaptation, rural adaptation, indigenous adaptation
Research Division:Human Society
Research Group:Policy and administration
Research Field:Health policy
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Evaluation of health and support services
Objective Field:Health policy evaluation
UTAS Author:Bell, E (Associate Professor Erica Bell)
UTAS Author:Kilpatrick, S (Professor Sue Kilpatrick)
ID Code:86810
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:2
Deposited By:UTAS Centre for Rural Health
Deposited On:2013-10-23
Last Modified:2018-04-06

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