Moral and civic reasoning in the NHS


  • Dr Piyush Pushkar

    University of Manchester

Project summary

I will ask why the NHS is so important to so many people by looking at protest movements that have emerged from the service. I am interested in the moral grounds for the creation of the NHS and the opposition to reforms which do not comply with activists’ expectations of what the state should provide for its citizens. I will also ask how state altruism interacts with notions of justice. 

This is a particularly apposite time to be investigating citizenship and health in Greater Manchester, since the agreement between state and citizen is being rewritten as the local authority takes control of its health and social care budget under the auspices of Devo Manc. 

I intend to use an ethnographic approach, working with activists who use moral arguments in their campaigns. I will investigate their ideas about citizenship and the social contract in the UK, and how health and ill health are used by citizens to conceptualise the role of the good state in creating the conditions for a good life.