Was Mackenbach right? Towards a practical political science of redistribution and health inequalities
In 2010, Mackenbach reflected on England's lack of success in reducing health inequalities between 1997 and 2010, asserting that “it is difficult to imagine a longer window of opportunity for tackling health inequalities”; asking “[i]f this did not work, what will?”; and concluding that reducing health inequalities was not politically feasible at least in that jurisdiction. Exploring the empirics of that observation offers a window into the politics of reducing health inequalities. For purposes of future comparative research, I outline three (not mutually exclusive) perspectives on political feasibility, identify their implications for a political science of health inequalities, and explore what they mean for advocacy in support of reducing those inequalities.