Global Public Health
Volume 13, 2017 Issue 3
Special Issue: Im/Mobilities and Dis/Connectivities in Medical Globalization: How Global is Global Health? Guest Editors: Dominik Mattes and Hansjörg Dilger
Im/mobilities and dis/connectivities in medical globalisation: How global is Global Health?
Hansjörg Dilger & Dominik Mattes
The interdisciplinary, politically contested field of Global Health has often been described as a consequence of, and response to, an intensification of the mobilities of, and connectivities between, people, pathogens, ideas, and infrastructure across national borders and large distances. However, such global mobilities and connectivities are not as omnidirectional and unpatterned as the rhetoric of many Global Health actors suggests. Instead, we argue that they are suffused by a plethora of institutional, national, and global political agendas, and substantially shaped by transnational and postcolonial power relations. Furthermore, the configurations that are typically subsumed under the category of Global Health represent only a minor part of the range of im/mobilities and dis/connectivities that are essential for understanding transformations of epidemiological patterns, health care infrastructures, and the responses to health-related challenges in a globalising world. In order to broaden such a limiting analytical perspective, we propose to expand the analytical focus in studying Global Health phenomena by paying close attention to the myriad ways in which particular im/mobilities and dis/connectivities constitute medicine and well-being in global and transnational settings. Pursuing a conceptual shift from studies of ‘Global Health’ to studying ‘medical globalization’ may carve out new analytical ground for such an endeavour.