In the introductory chapter I lay down the sociolegal foundations of the book. By a sociolegal approach I understand a study centered on the right to health "in action," in contrast with the right to health "in the books." I also present the political economy approach of the book, which I define - following David Kennedy - as a "terrain of contestation" where the attempts of governments to provide health care to their citizens collide with the profit-oriented agendas of non-state actors such as transnational pharmaceutical companies. In this chapter I illustrate the conundrum faced by Global South countries that try to guarantee the right to health of all citizens amid an epidemiological turn towards chronic, noncommunicable diseases, which require expensive medical treatments and state-of-the-art brand-name drugs.
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