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Durham University

Wolfson Research Institute for Health and Wellbeing

Health Policies for Equity in a Glocal World


Linda McKie, Professor of Sociology, School of Applied Social Sciences.

Linda has held posts at the universities of Aberdeen, Glasgow and Glasgow Caledonian, researching and teaching in the sociologies of health and illness, gender and work, and research methods and management. Current research considers a number of topics under the broad umbrella of Organisations, Work & Care, and families and relationships and included the evaluation of the Personal Development Project (PDP) and the resettlement process for veterans’ families; see Centre for Research on Families and RelationshipsIn 2014 she is a member of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) Sub Panel for sociology (unit of assessment 23). 

Ted Schrecker, Professor of Global Health Policy, School of Medicine, Pharmacy and Health.

In June 2013, Ted Schrecker moved from Canada to take up his new position at Durham. Ted's academic background is in political science, and he has taught that discipline as well as environmental studies and population health (at the doctoral level) from an interdisciplinary perspective. For the past decade his research has addressed the consequences of transnational economic integration (globalization) for health and health equity; he also has a long-standing interest in issues at the interface of science, ethics, law and public policy. Ted studied at Canada's Trent University, York University and The University of Western Ontario, and worked for many years as a legislative researcher and public policy consultant before coming to the academic world.

Advisory network: Nancy Cartwright, Professor of Philosophy, Steve Crossley, Ph.D. SASS, Martin Evans, Co-Director, Centre for Medical Humanities; Kayleigh Garthwaite, Research Associate WRI, Ian Greener, Professor Social Policy, SASS, Tiago Moreira, Reader, SASS, and externally Kate Pickett, Professor, Inequalities in Health, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, and Katherine Smith, Reader, Global Public Health Unit, School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh.


This special interest group links local, UK and global policy contexts for reducing health inequities, with a focus on connections between macro-scale economic processes and policy choices and local effects on health outcomes and social determinants of health and an emphasis on comparative research, under three headings:

  • Evidence for policy; the need to improve mechanisms for connecting evidence to policy, including need to consider multiple types of evidence of the connections between socioeconomic conditions and health. Sample research question: What is the best available evidence for the short- and long-term impact on health disparities in England of regional differences in the combined impact of benefit cuts and reduced local authority budgets? 
  • Evaluation of policies and interventions, focusing on the broader social determinants of health and policies that affect these, intentionally or otherwise. Sample research topic: evaluation of social prescribing incontrasting localities.
  • Explanation of policy choices outside the health care system, and critical examination of how evidence related to health equity is used/ignored. Sample research question: Was Johan Mackenbach correct when he argued that if the failure of the English strategy to reduce health inequalities under New Labour was due to the persistence and widening of economic inequalities, then “the point is that it is unlikely that a majority of the English electorate would have supported the substantial redistribution of income and wealth that would have been necessary”? Why/why not, and what kinds of evidence – if any – would suffice to overcome that lack of support?