Anthropologists have made important contributions to the study of policy and can play a critical role as participants in policy processes, as well. This article focuses on national health reform policies in Israel and Bolivia. Through our fieldwork focused on these policies, we consider anthropological approaches to studying health policies through the lenses of history, sociality, production, and power, and through attending to the inequities that emerge in policy implementation. Policy, as we emphasize in this article, is something both historically contingent as well as continuously ‘in the works.’ We attend to the multiple modalities through which policy emerges and the sometimes overlapping and often conflicting ways policies are implemented and unfold in practice. Furthermore, we suggest that policies are designed, implemented, and practiced at many different scales and locations, all of which hold the possibility for anthropological inquiry and involvement.

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