Bernasconi, Karge, Kind-Kovács: From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File

From_Midwife_BagThis volume offers an analysis of the intertwined relationship between public health and the biopolitical dimensions of state- and nation building in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe. It challenges the idea of diverging paths towards modernity of Europe’s western and eastern countries by not only identifying ideas, discourses and practices of “solving” public health issues that were shared among political regimes in the region; it also uncovers the ways in which, since the late nineteenth century, the biopolitical organization of the state both originated from and shaped an emerging common European framework.

The broad range of local case studies stretches from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Czechoslovakia, the GDR, Greece, and Hungary, to Poland, Serbia, the Soviet Union, and Yugoslavia. Taking a time span that begins in the late nineteenth century and ends in the post-socialist era, the book makes an original contribution to scholarship examining the relationship between public health, medicine, and state- and nation building in Europe’s long twentieth century. Close readings and dense descriptions of local discourses and practices of “public” health help to reflect on the transnational and global entanglements in the sphere of public health. In doing so, this volume facilitates comparisons on the regional, European, and global level.

Sara Bernasconi, Heike Karge, Friederike Kind-Kovács (Hg.): From the Midwife’s Bag to the Patient’s File. Public Health in Eastern Europe, Budapest: Central European University Press 2017