Marketisation, Ethics, and Healthcare


This research theme investigates the significance of markets, contracts and healthcare commissioning for the meaning of health and healthcare.

The project involves a partnership between humanities and social science researchers, healthcare practitioners, stakeholders, and policy makers. A key goal of the project is to develop ideas and energy to support humanities and social science researchers, especially those in their early career phase, in their public engagement and public policy work. The project focuses on the significance of markets, contracts, and healthcare commissioning for the meaning of health and healthcare. A market in healthcare is often thought to damage positive health outcomes for patients and the working environment for practitioners because it introduces unworthy, immoral motives. But is this so? How might markets shape and serve the meaning that people ascribe to health and healthcare?

A poster summarising key points from the project is available here.


The Healthcare Values Partership actively pursues projects which unite research and healthcare practice in service of the public good. As part of this, during 2015-2017, the Partnership worked on the project 'Engaging Healthcare: Markets and Meaning', supported by the British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award programme. British Academy funding was renewed in 2016-2017.
The project's research culminated in the launch of a new book edited by Therese Feiler, Joshua Hordern and Andrew Papanikitas: Marketisation, Ethics and Healthcare: Policy, Practice and Moral Formation (Routledge, 2018).
Engagement activity has taken the form of three interdisciplinary events during 2015-2016 to connect humanities and social science thinking with practical issues in healthcare delivery. A final event in March 2017 supported the publication of the project's research. 

A conference took place on June 19th 2015 in collaboration with the Royal Society of Medicine. Articles from the conference are listed below. Details of the planning workshop held on June 4th 2015 can be found here, and details of the early career researchers workshop which took place on February 23rd 2016 can be found here.

Access conference articles here: