The Political Economy of Mental Health in India



This chapter looks at the political economy of mental health in the context of the transition of the Indian state from 'welfare medicine' to 'developmental medicine' to 'neo-liberal medicine' and the transition of the 'discourse on unreason' from unreason being seen as primarily a 'moral problem' to primarily a 'political problem' (where unreason is threat to both self and society) to primarily an 'economic problem' (where unreason leads to loss of productivity and efficiency). The chapter also sees how the political economy of mental health remains torn between 'incitement to discourse' around questions of mental health within the expanding 'circuits of global capital' and acute lack of resources, stigmatization, and ghettoization of unreason outside the circuits. The chapter works at the overdetermination of the axes of the ‘patient’ (which includes experience and suffering), the ‘professional’ (which includes listening, diagnosis, cure, care, and medical education), the ‘service provider’ (which includes public institutions with tertiary, secondary, and primary care delivery systems as also private clinics), and 'industry’ (which includes, on the one hand, circuits of global capital and global markets and, on the other, circuits of local capital and local markets).


Mental Health Mental Health Service Political Economy Mental Health System Primary Health Center 
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Copyright information

© Springer India 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anup Dhar
    • 1
  • Anjan Chakrabarti
    • 2
  • Pratiksha Banerjee
    • 2
  1. 1.School of Human StudiesAmbedkar UniversityNew DelhiIndia
  2. 2.Department of EconomicsUniversity of CalcuttaKolkataIndia

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