Health, Hygiene, and Eugenics in Southeastern Europe to 1945

Health, Hygiene, and Eugenics in Southeastern Europe to 1945

Health, Hygiene, and Eugenics in Southeastern Europe to 1945

Health, Hygiene, and Eugenics in Southeastern Europe to 1945


This volume is a collection of chapters that deal with issues of health, hygiene and eugenics in Southeastern Europe to 1945, specifically, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece and Romania. Its major concern is to examine the transfer of medical ideas to society via local, national and international agencies and to show in how far developments in public health, preventive medicine, social hygiene, welfare, gender relations and eugenics followed a regional pattern. This volume provides insights into a region that has to date been marginal to scholarship of the social history of medicine.

"A superb collection.... Such incisive and intriguing contributions to this field suggest that there are exciting times ahead for the history of this fascinating region."

Patrick T. Merricks, Medical History (April 2013)

"The contributors to this volume show collectively that connections between state building and health policy, hygiene, and eugenics develop differently in a particular regional context like southeastern Europe. Second, the historians who present their fi ndings here insist that medical and technical aspects of debates around issues of social hygiene, health policy, or eugenics must be taken seriously in their own right, before these debates can be understood in larger political and ideological contexts. These pleas for disciplinary and regional specifi city make this an especially exciting and thought-provoking volume."

Paul A. Hanebrink, Slavic Review (Winter 2012)

"Individual chapters are rich in detail and provide informative historical overviews of their respective case studies. Despite the fact that authors deal with different countries or different eugenic and public health issues, the contributions are thematically well integrated, with numerous interconnecting strands of argument between them. The editors' introduction and the concluding discussion by Maria Bucur are both helpful in bringing together the volume's core themes, placing them in the context of modernization, nation-state formation and racial discourse as these apply to South East Europe as a whole".

Andy Byford, Slavonica (April 2012)

"It is easy to agree with the editors of the second volume of the CEU Press Studies in the History of Medicine about the general contribution of the authors of the chapters, which they see as a precise reconstruction of the “international diff usion of health, hygiene and eugenics and their implementation” (20) in diff erent regional contexts. Taking as a starting point the claim for a national and social renaissance in the interwar period, they undertake the ambitious task of presenting, in a comparative framework, important episodes in the establishment of professional and institutional networks of public health policies in Southeastern Europe up to 1945. ... The sequence of chapters in the book corresponds to the aim of the editors and contributors to reveal the diverse dynamics of modernization and the medicalization of social life in Southeastern Europe. ... The index, containing scientifi c and popular concepts and the names of prominent physicians, political leaders, and intellectuals, helps the reader in identifying both the common patterns and the national specificities of biopolitical surveillance over the (re)production of the modern citizen. ...

A close examination of the articles clearly shows that interest in the development of eugenic ideas prevailed over the reconstruction of the various competing strategies of social engineering that emerged in the fi eld of medical sciences in Southeastern Europe to 1945."

Galina Goncharova, Aspasia ( Vol 7, 2013)


Christian Promitzer · Sevasti Trubeta · Marius Turda

In a programmatic text on [Health Politics] penned immediately after the end of the First World War, the pioneer of social medicine in interwar Yugoslavia, Andrija Štampar (1888–1958), identified the emergence of a [national and social renaissance,] which he insisted was [at the same time a health renaissance.] Guided by this vision, this volume engages with developments in the history of health, hygiene and eugenics in Southeastern Europe and the national contexts within which these developments took place. The geographic scope of what is usually understood as Southeastern Europe (Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, the former Yugoslavia and Romania) inevitably carries with it various conceptual problems, including asymmetrical comparisons between Central and Western Europe and the countries in the region. This juxtaposition of different, and often antagonistic, perceptions of European symbolic geographies presents a picture of intellectual and cultural history that is characterized by more complex processes of scientific appropriation and knowledge transfer across European countries during the first half of the twentieth century than was previously assumed.

As this volume aims to show, various developments in health, hygiene and eugenics in Southeastern Europe have a number of overlapping regional patterns. Two of them are particularly revealing: first, the idea

Andrija Štampar, [On Health Politics] (1919), republished in Serving the Cause of Public Health. Selected Pa
pers of Andrija Štampar
, ed. by M. D. Grmek (Zagreb: Medical Faculty of the University of Zagreb, 1966),

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