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EGENIS seminar: "When Infant Mortality Was Born: Dutch Preventive Child Health Care without the State, 1890-1930", Martijn van der Meer & Noortje Jacobs (Erasmus MC)

Egenis seminar series

This talk investigates the emergence of Dutch preventive child health care in the first decades of the twentieth century. It shows that the rise of collective action on this terrain followed from the recognition of “infant mortality” as a public problem—a late nineteenth-century configuration that went hand in hand with the professionalization of paediatrics.

Event details

It also shows that the organizational forms that this collective action took depended on whose health was perceived to be at stake in specific articulations of the public problem of “infant mortality”. Finally, this article explores the motives of the Dutch state in the organization of public health in the interbellum and queries the relationship between the state and public health more broadly. Drawing on pragmatist philosophy, we argue that states are best understood as the result of historically contingent processes that take on different forms in different times and places. Such histories enable a better view of the elements at play in the organization of collective action and of the pivotal role played therein by the perception of public problems.

Venue: byrne House

Virtual: via Zoom

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