Health and Modernity

The Role of Theory in Health Promotion

  • David V. McQueen
  • Ilona Kickbusch
  • Louise Potvin
  • Jürgen M. Pelikan
  • Laura Balbo
  • Thomas Abel

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages I-XI
  2. David V. McQueen, Ilona Kickbusch
    Pages 1-5
  3. Louise Potvin, Laura Balbo
    Pages 6-11
  4. Louise Potvin, David V. McQueen
    Pages 12-20
  5. David V. McQueen
    Pages 21-42
  6. Thomas Abel
    Pages 43-73
  7. Louise Potvin
    Pages 103-128
  8. Laura Balbo
    Pages 129-143
  9. Ilona Kickbusch
    Pages 144-161
  10. Back Matter
    Pages 162-170

About this book


Health and Modernity

The Role of Theory in Health Promotion

David V. McQueen, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Ilona Kickbusch, Federal Office for Health, Bern, Switzerland


Louise Potvin, Université de Montréal, Canada

Jürgen Pelikan, University of Vienna, Austria

Laura Balbo, University of Ferrara, Italy

Thomas Abel, University of Bern, Switzerland

Pandemics, substance abuse, natural disasters, obesity, and warfare: the line that once separated health crisis from social crisis no longer exists. Yet while social theories are implied in today’s public health arena, they are rarely acknowledged. Now an international panel of leaders in world health explores this vital but understudied aspect of health promotion.

Health and Modernity proceeds from the thesis that contemporary health promotion is, by definition, inextricably linked to its social context. The authors discuss global challenges in terms of cultural capital, risk and causality, systems theory, and the dynamic between individual and community. In the process, they define an entity that:

-Understands the centrality of health to all areas of human life

-Is committed to equity in access to health-promoting resources

-Applies a multidisciplinary approach to public concerns

-Looks beyond quick fixes and simple answers to complex issues

-Employs a variety of political and social agents to accomplish health objectives

-Is dedicated to empowerment, facilitation, and inclusiveness

The insights found in Health and Modernity are certain to raise the level of debate among professionals, researchers, and the academic community in the global/public health and health promotion fields. This visionary volume guides readers from the immediacy of doing toward the deeper meaning that makes such doing possible.




Epidemiology Health crisis Health promotion New Public Health Public Health

Authors and affiliations

  • David V. McQueen
    • 1
  • Ilona Kickbusch
    • 2
  • Louise Potvin
    • 3
  • Jürgen M. Pelikan
    • 4
  • Laura Balbo
    • 5
  • Thomas Abel
    • 6
  1. 1.Prevention and Health PromotionCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Swiss Federal Office for HealthBernSwitzerland
  3. 3.Université de MontrealMontrealCanada
  4. 4.University of ViennaViennaAustria
  5. 5.University of FerraraFerraraItaly
  6. 6.Department of Social and Preventive Medicine University of BernBernSwitzerland

Bibliographic information