I am interested in the intersections of urban geography, globalisation and health and study the circulation of practices, policies and knowledge systems.
Through scrutinising the concept of worlding, I follow global processes and ask how they are (re)made through local sites and everyday practices. Investigating these sites through the lens of comparative urbanism allows me to discuss them in a global context.
In my research on “Worlding Medicine” I study how traditional knowledge regimes and practices are mobilised, how they travel contrary to hegemonic routes and how they are being (re-) constituted when translated into biomedical contexts. Drawing on fieldwork in Thailand, I ask how intellectual property rights and protection regimes transform traditional medical knowledge into marketable goods with new distribution paths. This project is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).
Urban Health Equity is a concept that I and my team develop to understand the uneven distribution of health outcomes in cities. We carry global comparative studies of urban health centres as places where illnesses and diseases are not only endured, but where determinants of health are socio-politically contested and renegotiated. Drawing on Latin American Critical Social Epidemiology, we try to learn from “theories from the south.”
This work is connected to my earlier research on the Creative City, on neoliberalism, and the post-democratisation of the urban. By conceiving creative policies as globally circulating mobile urban policies and as the rationality of urban governance, I studied their unfolding power dynamics when these policies are articulated locally.
Throughout my work, I apply perspectives in Urban Geography that attend to global-urban processes critically and connect to emancipatory urban activism.
Negotiating Knowledge Regimes and Practices between Alternative and Biomedicine
Viruses, microbes, patients, organs, new therapeutic technologies, pharmaceuticals or care services – health is a field in which various forms of global circulation become highly tangible. In the current research, the globalisation of medicine is predominantly understood as the unidirectional diffusion of the assumedly superior and uncontested model of biomedicine. In contrast – drawing on a case study on Thai Traditional Medicine (TTM) – the intended research project asks how traditional, complementary or alternative knowledge regimes and practices are mobilized, how they circulate globally, and how they are being (re-) constituted when translated into biomedical contexts. The theoretical perspective of worlding enables understanding the emergent spaces and forms of medicine as a global assemblage of knowledge and practice and contributes to decentring Eurocentric knowledge production.
Principal Investigator: Iris Dzudzek
Funding: German Research Foundation