The health of nations, infectious disease and its effects on state capacity, prosperity, and stability

by Pricesmith, Andrew Thomas

Abstract (Summary)
The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease and its Effects on State Capacity, Prosperity, and Stability. Doctor of Philosophy. 1999. Andrew Thomas Pricesmith. Department of Political Science, University of Toronto. This thesis investigates the influence of infectious disease upon state capacity, stability and prosperity. It argues that the increasing global proliferation of infectious human pathogens will have a significant negative effect upon the ability of the state to govern itself effectively, and to maximize its economic power. First, this thesis defines the scope of the problem of emerging and re-emerging human pathogens and explores the pathways of disease emergence. Second, it presents a methodology that includes quantifiable measures of State Capacity, and proxy measures for the global burden of disease. Third, it presents the findings of the correfations run on the independent and dependent variables, and concludes that there is in fact a strong and significant negative association between infectious disease prevalence and state capacity. Fourth, this thesis argues that infectious disease will contribute to increasing poverty, and have a significant negative impact on the formation and consolidation of human capital. Given that infectious disease may generate increasing poverty and deprivation of the population, while simultaneously reducing the state's ability to govern effectively, this may lead to increasing levels of intra-state violence and political instability.
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Source Type:Master's Thesis



Date of Publication:01/01/1999

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