Nordic research network for medical history: agendas of health and medical history

The network focuses on central aspects of the history of public health and medicine. The overall goal is to strengthen the quality of research in health and medical history in the Nordic countries so that Nordic research in the field can measure up better to international research.

These are the five key concepts of the network:

  • Medicalisation: To what extent can ”medicalisation” be used to describe the social role of Western medicine after c. 1850? Does the concept vary in content and explanatory power according to circumstances?
  • Bio-politics: Is ”bio-politics” a meaningful concept? In which areas is it appropriate and what methodological guidance does it contribute?
  • Health Citizenship: Is ”health citizenship” a fruitful analytical tool to understand the development of individual and collective rights and duties in the areas of public health and medical services? To what extent does this concept bring out the societal interrelatedness of health and medical history?
  • Governmentality: What is the relationship of ”governmentality” to the concepts just mentioned? What theoretical and methodological tools enable an understanding of “un-governability” – the resistance to being governed by science and politics?
  • Historicization: How can medicine and health be ”historicized”? What are the benefits of a systematic historicization of diseases, laboratory results, medical technology? And what problems does such a theoretical and methodological approach present?
Facts about the project
Project leader

Astri Andresen, University of Bergen, Norway