The politics of health policy in Scotland (1987-1992): ‘Personal responsibility’ and the ‘false dawn’ of ‘social determination’

Activity: Talk or presentationOral presentation


West Central Scotland and Glasgow exhibit unenviable health outcomes. Previous work has highlighted the post-1960 regional policy decisions affecting these outcomes, and also the awareness amongst policy makers in the 1970s of many of the adverse consequences. This paper presents new archival research covering the period 1979-1992, and shows how Scottish politicians moved to embrace a view of social problems, including health, as reflective of a ‘dependency culture’. In response, some senior civil servants, faced with a growing body of countervailing evidence, sought to encourage a more ‘holistic’ approach. The paper will show how this was to prove to be a ‘false dawn’ for the re-emergence of a view of health as ‘socially determined’, and will present a perspective on how the public policy of this period contributed to intensifying issues of both social deprivation and health in the region, and in the city of Glasgow in particular.
Period30 Jan 2019
Event titleStrategic Hub for Society, Policy, Governance and Justice, School of Media, Culture and Society, Afternoon Discussion Series
Event typeSeminar
LocationPaisley, United KingdomShow on map
Degree of RecognitionNational