Legitimacy: The Right to Health

3-9 September 2021, Tuscany, Italy

Convenors: Italo Pardo and Giuliana B. Prato

Individual and public health is
a legal and legitimate right.
It is a fundamental of life.

This Workshop was originally planned for September 2020. However, the intervening Covid-19 pandemic forced us to reschedule the event to September 2021.

Issues of trust and authority that are central to current theoretical debate on legitimacy set key challenges on our empirical understanding of health practices and the governance of public health. Ethnographically-based reflection on ideas of legitimacy at the grassroots can help us address important questions about healthcare, including the complex ways in which public health authorities gain, keep, or lose the public’s trust. In this Workshop, the ethnographic focus is on urban settings.

There are, of course, many factors that impact on people’s health, whether it be as a result of lifestyle choice, environmental conditions or societal and economic circumstances. This invitation-only Workshop will draw on empirical knowledge from different settings to study the ways in which the right to health is addressed by the authorities and is experienced by the people on the ground. In particular, attention needs to be drawn on a growing ambiguity to the official definition of what constitutes (morally and legally) illegitimate behaviour in public life. Here, the analytical focus is on the management of the health services and of the urban environment, which have a direct impact on individual and public health.