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Illuminating Policy for Health: Insights from a decade of researching urban and regional planning.[Book]

 Harris, P. (2022) Illuminating Policy for Health: Insights from a decade of researching urban and regional planning. Palgrave McMillan. ISBN 978-3-031-13198-1.

About this book

This book unpacks policy and politics for health, equity, and wellbeing. With a critical realist lens, the book provides a methodology for sophisticated health focussed policy analysis which situates public health within complex political processes and systems. The application of that lens is demonstrated with insights from a decade of research into urban and regional planning.


“Harris has extensive experience in public health policy research, and he uses it to great effect in this book. His aim is to use what we know about public health problems, and policy processes, to inform sophisticated policy analysis. This approach requires analysts to situate their potential policy solutions in the context of a political audience more or less receptive to their ideas, and a complex policymaking environment out of their full understanding and control”

Paul Cairney, Professor of Politics and Public Policy, University of Stirling, UK

“Turning the floodlights on healthy public policy, Patrick Harris adopts a Critical Realist lens to highlight the importance of theory, framing, policy and governance in metropolitan planning, urban transport infrastructure, impact assessment, coal mining and climate change.  Supported by raw and insightful observations about his personal navigation of research and writing, Illuminating Policy for Health is a must-read for anybody interested in the nexus of urban and regional planning and health policy”

Phil McManus, Professor of Urban and Environmental Geography, The University of Sydney, Australia

“This book applies a critical lens to understanding policy from a public health perspective. Using urban governance as a case study (a policy area in much need of greater public health attention, given the current climate emergency), Harris demonstrates the fundamentally political nature of policymaking. It should be of interest to anyone interested in better understanding the ways politics and power shape policy outcomes.”

Katherine Smith, Professor of Health Policy, University of Strathclyde, UK
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