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Public Health in the British Empire : Intermediaries, Subordinates and Public Health Practice, 1850-1960

Johnson, R. (2011) Public Health in the British Empire : Intermediaries, Subordinates and Public Health Practice, 1850-1960. Routledge. ISBN 9780415890410

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Abstract

This volume investigates the duties and responsibilities of these medical and non-medical subordinate personnel, as well as intermediary agents such as local rulers, and draws attention to their significance. It further considers how the subjectivity of subordinates influenced the manner in which they discharged their duties and how this in turn shaped public health policy itself. The book underscores the importance of such personnel and argues that the making of colonial health policy was not a top-down process but was instead far more interactive where even those working as low level assistant and aides were able to affect policy design. Furthermore, by analyzing the position of intermediaries and subordinates in different colonial contexts the book sheds light on the workings of the colonial state. Through an analysis of the agency of intermediaries and subordinates the chapters in this book bring into sharp relief the disaggregated nature of the colonial state (and the Empire) thereby challenging the understanding of the imperial project as an enterprise conceived of and driven from the centre.