ERC: Socialist Medicine: An Alternative Global Health History (SOCMED)


German project description
Das Projekt treibt eine neue Geschichte des globalen Gesundheitswesens voran, das erstmalig auch die sozialistische Welt miteinbezieht – eine Konstellation von Ländern innerhalb eines fluktuierenden politischen, sozialen, ökonomischen und militärischen Nexus, der sich klar vom kapitalistischen Westen unterschied.

English project description
The project pioneers a new history of global health that, for the first time, incorporates the socialist world - a constellation of countries in a fluctuating political, economic and military nexus distinct from the capitalist West. It identifies the particular health cultures produced by socialism (in all its variety) and explores the impact of socialist internationalism in co-producing global health in the 20th century. The proposed project pioneers a new history that will not only transform our knowledge of historical processes, but will further our understanding of ideas, practices and processes that current global health structures have been built on.
Global health histories are framed mainly through American, colonial and liberal perspectives, even as some contributions of the socialist world, e.g. in smallpox eradication, have been acknowledged. The omission of socialist contexts, however, distorts our understanding of what global health is. Many parts of the socialist world, like China or Czechoslovakia, provided different approaches to international and global health, e.g. in rural health or epidemic management. Although there was not one socialist template, diverse framings of socialist medicine played major roles n shaping and contesting global practices.
A systematic analysis of socialist medicine and international health through global case studies integrates missing expert networks, political agendas, public health models and diplomatic agreements in global health history. This work, in turn, allows us to rethink concepts such as socialism, medical aid, solidarity, development, socialist medical research and health provision.

Principal investigators
Vargha, Dora Prof. Dr. (Details) (History of Science Specializing in History of Education and Organisation of Knowledge in the 19th and 20th Century)

Participating organisational units of HU Berlin

Participating external organisations

Duration of project
Start date: 09/2021
End date: 08/2026

Research Areas
History of Science

Research Areas
Medizin- und Wissenschaftsgeschichte

Last updated on 2022-14-04 at 10:17