Socialist medicine: an alternative global health history


  • Prof Dora Vargha

    University of Exeter

Project summary

This project will investigate the role of socialism as concept and socialist internationalism as practice in shaping global health history, focusing on the Cold War era. I will investigate socialism and socialist internationalism simultaneously from within and from without. I will track how ideas of public health and medicine circulated among socialist countries and welfare states, which practices and concepts were adopted and how local solutions fed back to the overall idea of health in national and international contexts. I will also explore how socialist medicine engaged with Western and non-aligned health systems and global health programmes. 

The project will provide a significantly new perspective on histories of global health. My key goals are to conduct archival scoping on four continents to identify research questions, concepts and methods through workshops and create a network of research assistants, experts and scholars in key research sites and develop an academic network in which the project can be embedded and an advisory board established.