Accepted Paper:

Anthropology and the problem of comparison: shaping public health policy in four Mediterranean countries  
Peter Phillimore (Newcastle University)

Paper long abstract:

This paper focuses on an analytical challenge which often faces medical anthropologists working on large multidisciplinary projects: cross-country comparison. While both a necessity and a potential strength in this kind of policy-oriented research, comparison has been largely out of vogue in anthropology for many years, despite recent efforts to rethink its potential and reemphasise its centrality to the discipline (e.g. Fox & Gingrich 2002). This paper explores both the potentialities and pitfalls of cross-country comparison in the context of an EU funded project which aims to identify policy to reduce the ever-growing burden of diabetes and cardiovascular disease in four Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Syria, Palestine and Tunisia. Anthropology, epidemiology and health economics are each crucial to this collaboration: but what becomes of comparison in pursuit of this cross-disciplinary dialogue, and what gets lost in translation?

Panel W026
Applied anthropology, crisis and innovation in health and medicine