Cold War, Public Health and Brazil: Exploring transnational epistemic communities (1955-1978)

Directeur /trice Professor Nicolle Bourbonnais (Supervisor in Suisse)
Co-directeur(s) /trice(s)
Résumé de la thèse

This research will explore the activities of Brazilian public health experts in transnational networks of technicians during the Cold War, particularly between 1955 and 1978. Three World Health Organization (WHO) milestone events anchor the study: the Global Malaria Eradication Program (1955), the Smallpox Eradication Program (1959), and the Alma-Ata International Conference on Primary Health Care (1978). They mobilized experts with multiple conceptions of health, who reacted (sometimes favorably, others in opposition) to the premises and implementation methods applied in technical cooperation projects. Literature acknowledges that the Cold War permeated these debates, but it has not fully explored the actions of non-state actors from the developing world beyond the nation-state. Besides shedding light on the role of Brazilian experts in the networks of knowledge of the field, this study will explain the limitations, the potential, and their local and international impacts in debates about world health. Also, it intends to show their interplay with counterparts in the WHO, and to demonstrate how some perspectives of health and development were admitted, while others were rejected. Specifically, this research intends to delve into the subject by exploring (a) the repercussions and circulation of the method of chloroquinated-salt to control malaria in Brazilian hinterlands, developed by malariologist Mário Pinotti, in discussions within WHO's Malaria Eradication Program, (b) the engagement of Brazilian health experts on the field, particularly those developing the epidemiological surveillance-containment mechanism during the implementation of the Smallpox Eradication Program in the country, (c) the assessment of how divergent voices, particularly from Brazilian and Latin-American experts, undertook the transnational debates about primary health care - that later culminated on the Alta-Ata International Conference (1978). Besides employing public and private sources of Brazilian technicians, the study will rely on the WHO Archives, the National Archives and Records Administration at College Park (U.S.) and the archives of the National Library of Medicine at Johns Hopkins University.

Statut au milieu
Délai administratif de soutenance de thèse 2025