Website: The Reluctant Internationalists

Website: The Reluctant Internationalists

Project owner / organizer
Birkbeck, University of London ()
From - Until
01.12.2013 -
Vargha, Dora

We are pleased to announce the launch of the new website of the research group "The Reluctant Internationalists: A History of Public Health and International Organisations, Movements and Experts in Twentieth Century Europe", based at Birkbeck, University of London.

A central question of The Reluctant Internationalists concerns the roles played by debates about public health and (real or imagined) crises in the formation of international structures, mechanisms and organisations in twentieth century Europe. Concerns about health provided major incentives for international collaboration throughout the century. But how, why, by whom, and with what consequences, were potential or actual health crises (such as the post-war epidemics, the spectre of mass starvation, the rising rates of venereal diseases, the movements of millions of refugees and disease vectors, and consequent psychological traumatisation on an unheard of scale) used to design, justify and implement international responses, even where they clashed with national or local priorities. More fundamentally, how has the organisation of the global community of nations changed in the course of the century, and how has the problem of public health shaped the way this organisation has been conceptualised?

The Reluctant Internationalists is a four-year project funded by a Wellcome Trust Investigator Award and led by Dr Jessica Reinisch. The core research team comprises Ana Antic, Dora Vargha and Johanna Conterio-Geisler (postdoctoral researchers), and David Bryan (PhD student). You can find more information about the project, its participants, along with updates on upcoming workshops, events, fellowships, blog posts and news on the website:

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