In December, 2012, a symposium to explore and debate future directions for health inequalities research, Where Next for Health Inequalities? (www.healthinequalities.net/) was co-organised by one of us (KS) at the University of Edinburgh. One of the themes that emerged from discussions at this symposium, as well as in a series of interviews with researchers and policy actors undertaken in advance of this event (Smith, 2013), was an evident concern, among both researchers and policymakers, about the limited range of theories that contribute to explaining the origins and implications of health inequalities. This was the start of the long and winding road that has led to the production of this special issue. We have divided the issue into two parts: the articles in Part 1 focus on outlining, employing or refining theories that are intended to help us better understand the production of health inequalities; whereas the articles in Part 2 are more concerned with how various theories can help us think about (actual and potential) responses to these inequalities.
- health inequalities
- health policy