In Healthy or Sick? Phillip Trein has taken up a topic that is excellent in two different ways. First, this book identifies and attacks a challenge that neither political scientists nor public health scholars have taken on: the comparative politics of public health. The scope of variation in public health systems, workforces, institutions, and priorities between even superficially similar countries is dramatic and largely unmapped, let alone explained. Insofar as it is mapped, the politics of public health is typically mapped by public health researchers. While some of their newest work is very illuminating (Rechel, Jakubowski, et al. 2018; Rechel, Maresso, et al. 2018), much of it has been part of efforts to improve compliance with some norm, be it the International Health Regulations, public health workforce competencies, or adherence to EU standards. As such, that research agenda is shaped...

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