Publics and their health systems: rethinking participation

Ellen Stewart

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Drawing on a detailed case study of Scotland's National Health Service, this book argues that debates about citizen participation in health systems are disproportionately dominated by techniques of invited participation. A 'system's-eye' perspective, while often well-intentioned, has blinded us to other standpoints for understanding the complex relationship between publics and their health systems.Publics and Their Health Systems takes a 'citizen's-eye' perspective, exploring not only conventional invited participation, but also the realms of representative democracy, contentious protest politics, and the micro-level tactics used by individual citizens in their encounters with health services. The book highlights more oppositional dynamics than those which characterise much invited participation, and argues that understanding these is a crucial step towards a more inclusive and democratic health system.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherPalgrave Macmillan Ltd.
Number of pages152
ISBN (Electronic)9781137467171
ISBN (Print)9781349570201, 9781137467164
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jan 2016

Publication series

NamePalgrave Studies in Science, Knowledge and Policy


  • public involvement
  • public engagement
  • citizen participation
  • health policy
  • health
  • sociology
  • politics
  • health sociology
  • democracy
  • nation
  • participation
  • policy
  • protest
  • service
  • work


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