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To cite this article: Eric D. Carter (2018): Social medicine and international expert networks in Latin America, 1930–1945, Global Public Health, DOI: 10.1080/17441692.2017.1418902

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This paper examines the international networks that influenced ideas and policy in social medicine in the 1930s and 1940s in Latin America, focusing on institutional networks organised by the League of Nations Health Organization, the International Labour Organization, and the Pan-American Sanitary Bureau. After examining the architecture of these networks, this paper traces their influence on social and health policy in two policy domains: social security and nutrition. Closer scrutiny of a series of international conferences and local media accounts of them reveals that international networks were not just ‘conveyor belts’ for policy ideas from the industrialised countries of the US and Europe into Latin America; rather, there was often contentious debate over the relevance and appropriateness of health and social policy models in the Latin American context. Recognition of difference between Latin America and the global economic core regions was a key impetus for seeking ‘national solutions to national problems’ in countries like Argentina and Chile, even as integration into these networks provided progressive doctors, scientists, and other intellectuals important international support for local political reforms.



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