Shifting Boundaries of Public Health

Shifting Boundaries of Public Health

Europe in the Twentieth Century

Edited by Susan Gross Solomon, Lion Murard, Patrick Zylberman

New perspectives on the history of twentieth century public health in Europe.
European public health was a playing field for deeply contradictory impulses throughout the twentieth century. In the 1920s, international agencies were established with great fanfare and postwar optimism to serve as the watchtower of health the world over. Within less than a decade, local-level institutions began to emerge as seats of innovation, initiative, and expertise. But there was continual counterpressure from nation-states that jealously guarded their policymaking prerogatives in the face of the push for cross-national standardization and the emergence of original initiatives from below.

In contrast to histories of twentieth-century public health that focus exclusively on the local, national, or international levels, Shifting Boundaries explores the connections or "zones of contact" between the three levels. The interpretive essays, written by distinguished historians of public health and medicine, focus on four topics: the oscillation between governmental and nongovernmental agencies as sites of responsibility for addressing public health problems; the harmonization of nation-states' agendas with those of international agencies; the development by public health experts of knowledge that is both placeless and respectful of place; and the transportability of model solutions across borders. The volume breaks new ground in its treatment of public health as a political endeavor by highlighting strategies to prevent or alleviate disease as a matter not simply of medical techniques but political values and commitments.

Contributors: Peter Baldwin, Iris Borowy, James A. Gillespie, Graham Mooney, Lion Murard, Dorothy Porter, Sabine Schleiermacher, Susan Gross Solomon, Paul Weindling, and Patrick Zylberman.

Susan Gross Solomon is professor of political science at the University of Toronto. Lion Murard and Patrick Zylberman are both senior researchers at CERMES (Centre de Recherche Médecine, Sciences, Santé et Société), CNRS-EHESS-INSERM, Paris.

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Table of Contents

Can There Be a Democratic Public Health? Fighting AIDS in the Industrialized World - Peter Baldwin
The Social Contract of Health in the Twentieth and Twenty-First Centuries: Individuals, Corporations, and State - Dorothy Porter
American Foundations and Internationalizing of Public Health - Paul Weindling and Paul Weindling
Maneuvering for Space: International Health Work of the League of Nations during WW II - Iris Borowy
Maneuvering for Space: International Health Work of the League of Nations during the Second World War - Iris Borowy
Europe, America, and the Space of International Health - James A Gillespie
Designs within Disorder: International Conferences on Rural Health Care and the Art of the Local, 1931-39 - Lion Murard
Contested Spaces: Models of Public Health in Occupied Germany - Sabine Schleiermacher
British Public Health and the Problem of Local Demographic Structure -
A Matter of "Reach": Fact-Finding in Public Health in the Wake of WW I - Susan Solomon
A Transatlantic Dispute: The Etiology of Malarian and the Redesign of the Mediterranean Landscape - Patrick Zylberman


Combined with the thought-provoking introduction and the excellent quality of several papers, this makes the book a valuable contribution both to public health history, and to the history of "shifting boundaries" within other knowledge and policy fields. --MEDICAL HISTORY [Erik Ingebrigtsen]

Menaced by AIDS, obesity, diabetes, resurgent malaria, and other plagues, global citizens live in an era of epidemiology. Shifting Boundaries of Public Health assembles some of the most revealing studies by leading historians of disease control to demonstrate how the politics of health has thrown all our spatial and ideological categories into flux. --Charles S. Maier, Saltonstall Professor of History, Harvard University

A valuable contribution both to public health history, and to the history of "shifting boundaries" within other knowledge and policy fields. MEDICAL HISTORY, vol. 53, no. 4, October 2009

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