Research Project

The coordinated project “Health Policies in 20th century Europe”  follows previous research projects developed by the group SANHISOC / Health in Society on the transfer of scientific knowledge in the field of health and food policies in Europe in time of crisis (1914-1960). Its historiographical originality is based on the comparative analysis of national contexts and further discussion from an international perspective. Key elements of the analysis are the role of experts, national and international organizations, state policies and the shaping of discourses and agents that become hegemonic in the consolidation of a specific health ideology,  common health practices and policies and in the various European countries. This calls into question traditional research mainly focused on national traditions as explanatory context of the binomial health/disease of the population. The core hypothesis is that since the interwar period, national health policies have been inspired by international networks of experts and institutions that have oriented research and public policies. The coordinated project is composed of two sub-projects.

Subproject A:  HEALTH POLICIES, SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH AND RISK BETWEEN THE GREAT WAR AND THE END OF FRANCO’S REGIME

Having analyzed in previous research the role of the Health organisation of the League of Nations and the Rockefeller Foundation in international health, now subproject A focus the health programs of the ILO, the “Office International d’Hygiène Public” and the Hygiene Section of UNRRA during 1909-1948. It pays also attention to health policies boosted by national institutes of health in European countries. Following previous studies on children’s health based on nutrition campaigns and fight against tuberculosis, negotiation of international standards, and research on smallpox vaccine, now this new project will analyse child health policies based on institutions such as school medical inspection and vaccination campaigns associated with further research in virology. Finally, after previous studies on control of food security and environmental policies, fertilizers and pesticide use and hazards will be addressed.

Subproject B THE INTERNATIONAL CONTEXT AND FOOD AND NUTRITION POLICIES IN SPAIN DURING DEVELOPMENTALISM (1959-1975)

The research group involved in subproject B has a long tradition in the history of community nutrition in Spain and its relations with the international context, including the role of hygienism, rationing policies, community nutrition… during the huge nutritional crisis in the first half of the 20th century.  Now the research plan focusses on the influence of the international context on food and nutritional policies in Spain during the second half of the 20th century.

Both projects transversely discuss the following topics: food and nutrition, child health, environmental health risks, gender and health policies, health policies and institutions, experts and agencies, thegemonic groups and international networks.

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