How 'global' is Global Health? Mobility and (dis)connectivity in the Global Health enterprise

Dominik Mattes (Freie Universität Berlin)
Hansjörg Dilger (Freie Universität Berlin)
Start time:
10 September, 2015 at 11:00
Session slots:

Short abstract:

How do health conditions become problems of "global concern"? What connectivities and hierarchies are established between multiple actors of Global Health? This panel explores how Global Health is "patterned" by (dis)connections, directionality, (in)equality, neglect and newly emerging solidarities.

Long abstract:

Mobility and connectivity are central elements of the field of Global Health. Thus, the increasing mobility and connectedness of persons, pathogens, and politics across national and regional boundaries produce often novel health conditions of potentially global urgency. The responses to health issues, in turn, trigger (equally transnational) flows of finances, policies, and medico-technical interventions establishing new types of assemblages with an often strong humanitarian impetus. This panel interrogates how the field of Global Health is "patterned" by geopolitical power relations, conditions of inequality and vulnerability, and the agendas and strategies of particular actors. Workshop submissions should pay special attention to the phenomena of (dis)connectivity, mobility, directionality, (in)equality and neglect. They may address why certain health conditions become the target of global health interventions while others, that are similarly "urgent" in terms of morbidity and mortality, do not attract the same medical, political and financial attention? Which (geographic as well as metaphoric) spaces and types of problems remain unmarked in the Global Health landscape? How does the "Global North" become part of the Global Health paradigm, other than intervening in the health crises of the "Global South"? Do notions of Global Health that pay attention to "austerity" and "crisis" in the "Global North" simply replace geographical boundaries by markers of class, ethnicity or race? Finally, what (new) connectivities are established between the multiple actors of the Global Health enterprise, and how do they produce new solidarities, but also hierarchies and power relations in "South-South" or "East-West" cooperations?