Archive | January, 2015

Varadkar’s ‘priorities’ are bland, unambitious and confused

27 Jan

SaraBurke.com

A column from the Irish Independent on 27 January 2015.
On the same day that news broke of another investigation into deficiencies in care in a maternity unit in an Irish hospital – including the deaths of two newborn babies – health ministers Leo Varadkar and Kathleen Lynch launched their ‘priority areas’.

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Notes on Ideology, Power, the Media and the Irish Crisis:

26 Jan

critical media review

An introduction to the study of ideological power structures and their relevance in the Irish economic crisis (Notes from a presentation to the Dublin Left Forum 10/05/2014)

Introduction

Since the onset of the crisis that the Irish state thus far has not had to resort to coercion in any serious manner; a co-opted trade union movement alongside a generally homogeneous mainstream  polity has meant that all austerity measures, including direct cuts to pay, conditions and the social wage have been successfully introduced. While the Fianna Fail party was almost wiped out in the 2011 election, the Irish system of ‘two and a half parties’ has meant Fianna Fail’s twin party centre right party Fine Gael, backed up by the Irish Labour Party has been able to continue the austerity project without missing a beat.  While there have been many defensive protests on single issues such as individual hospital closures and…

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Neoliberal Dogma? Revisiting Foucault on Social Security, Healthcare, and Autonomy (Pt. II of II)

26 Jan

JHIBlog

by guest contributor Luca Provenzano

Earlier, I discussed claims that the French philosopher Michel Foucault anticipated or deployed neoliberal dogmas about social security in an interview in 1983. I now consider Foucault’s assertions about health and healthcare in the same interview. I further assess how the allegations that he deployed “neoliberal dogmas” might relate to the contradictions of contemporary knowledge production.

In the 1983 interview, Foucault indeed proposed that “health” was not a right (cf. Zamora, Critiquer Foucault, 103). But not as a conclusion to “neoliberal” reasoning: the main argument was that it was obscurantist to “secure” by juridical right a state of biological and psychological fact. In other words, Foucault considered that a state as fragile as “health” could not be secured by legislation.

It is clear that there is hardly sense in speaking of a “right to health.” Health, good health, cannot come from a right…

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