Philipp Trein is a Postdoctoral Researcher in Political Science and Public Policy at the University of Lausanne and a Senior Fellow at UC Berkeley’s Institute for European Studies. His research interests cover comparative public policy, comparative and European politics and economic voting. His book Healthy or Sick? Coevolution of Health Care and Public Health in a Comparative Perspective (Cambridge University Press, 2018) analyzes the relationship between curative and preventative health policy. He currently works on a research project that compares the coordination and integration of policies, in environment, migration, public health, and employment policy. His other research deals with policy learning, problem-solving in multilevel governance, the politics of the global financial and economic crisis in federal states, and economic voting in Germany during the 2007-09 financial and economic crisis. Further information about Philipp can be found here
The monograph “Healthy or Sick?” by Philipp Trein poses a supposedly simple question, but offers a theoretically well-informed answer that draws on rich empirical data.
The objective of this book is to explain how two subsectors of health policy (co-)evolved, namely health care and public health. While public health is about preventing diseases, health care concerns the measures taken (and financed) to cure diseases. Despite the logical connection between these two subsectors, this monograph represents the first attempt to model this connection by using policy-analytical tools.
Empirically, the study concentrates on and compares five advanced democracies: Australia, Germany, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. This set of countries shares some commonalities, but more importantly important differences that offer intriguing insights. Trein invests greatly in providing a historical analysis of how the two subsectors (co-)evolved.
He argues that the strong connection between public health and health care results from two factors: first, the involvement of the government and the centralization of the health policy, and second, the campaigning of professional organizations that consider preventive and non-medical health policy as important. This book has two evident strengths, which make it a valuable read.
First, Trein walks the reader through the extensive but fragmented body of research on policy integration in order to develop a coherent theoretical argument.
Second, the in-depth analyses of the five countries draw from original data and convey an encompassing picture of how the two subsectors developed over time.
In sum, an appealing read not only to health policy scholars, but to any policy scholar interested in policy dynamics.