Global Humanitarian Medicine 2019
David Ausserhofer
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The Research Group Global Humanitarian Medicine explored expert hierarchies in global health with a specific focus on the retranslation of knowledge and policies from the Global South to the Global North in the field of Global Health. It conducted the project Medical Internationalisms and the Making of Global Public Health (Dr.GLOBAL), funded by a Freigeist (Free Spirit) Fellowship of the Volkswagen Foundation.

While Global Health is mostly envisioned and studied as a North-South intervention, Dr. GLOBAL explored how and why transnational health organizations, which started conducting work in countries in the South, decided in a second step to take on activities at home. Specifically, we explored South-North knowledge transfers in (i) US medical education, (ii) French domestic humanitarianism, (iii) anti-diarrhoeal policy making and (iv) the making of the US community health worker and its international, Global South origins and inspirations.

The project combined insights from sociology, international relations, medical history, anthropology and geography, being thus situated in an emerging transversal field of critical global health. It used key informant interviews, non-participant observation, archival research, and qualitative content analysis to reconstruct the re-interpretation of humanitarianism and social medicine for the healthcare peripheries of industrialized countries in order to contribute to an empirically saturated conceptualization of the global medical south.