neoliberalism; public health; care; precarity; statehood; Spain; Southern Europe; infrastructure; austerity; anthropology
Kehr Janina (2020), For a more-than-human public health, in BioSocieties
, 15(4), 650-663.
ChabrolFanny, KehrJanina (2020), The Hospital Multiple. Introduction
, Somatosphere Editorial Collective, Somatosphere.
Schwaller Corinne, Perl Gerhild, Kehr Janina (2020), “Valuation Struggles: Rethinking the Economy in Times of Crisis”, Interview with Susana Narotzky, Patrícia Matos and Antonio Maria Pusceddu, in Tsantsa
, 25, 175-86.
VagneronFrédéric, KehrJanina (2020), Santé globale et humanités médicales critiques : enseigner l’histoire et l’anthropologie de la santé aux étudiant(e)s en médecine , in Lefève Céline, Zimmer Alexis, Thoreau Francois (ed.), Doin, Paris, 143-145.
Kehr Janina, Dilger Hansjörg, Eeuwijk von Peter (2019), Transfigurations of Health and the Moral Economy of Medicine: Subjectivities, Materialities, Values, in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie
, 143(18), 1-20.
Kehr Janina (2019), Se plaindre des soins dans l'Espagne de l'austérité, in Mouvements
, 2019/2(98), 32-42.
Kehr Janina, Chabrol Fanny (2018), L'hôpital, in Anthropologie et Santé
, 16/2018, 1-13.
Kehr Janina, Crafting the Otherwise in Anthropology and Medicine, in Zeitschrift für Ethnologie
In this Ambizione project, I investigate austerity and its everyday effects and inequalities in contemporary Spanish healthcare. To date, only quantitative studies in public health have explored the consequences of austerity in the healthcare sector. How do doctors, nurses and patients practice and experience healthcare in conditions of austerity, inside and outside of medical settings? How are the conflicting economic, political and moral values of health negotiated on the ground in austere times? My research will be one of the first anthropological studies to explicitely investigate the street-level effects of austerity policies in the domain of medicine in Spain from peoples' perspectives, and the ubiquitous political mobilisations for public healthcare it engenders.Spain is a particularly interesting case: it is one of the European countries hardest hit by austerity; and yet it has a very strong public health infrastructure that is publicly funded, and matters much to its citizens, politically and affectively. As a consequence, important resistances against the politics of austerity in the domain of medicine have emerged in Spain, which can be examined side by side with austerity’s everyday consequences as well as its cultural meanings in medical settings.In my research, I will firstly ask how austerity came to matter in the Spanish healthcare system, by analysing official public health documents and economic policies, grey literature and by conducting interviews with civil servants. Secondly, I will investigate through ethnographic fieldwork in medical and home settings in Madrid how political concerns with austerity translate in everyday medical practice and care relations and how medical, political and economic values are negotiated and experienced by health professionals and patients. Thirdly, resistance to the politics of austerity will be examined by doing ethnographic work with activist groups that “defend” the public health system against increasing precarization and advocate for public health otherwise. I will realize one year of in-depth research in Madrid to respond to my three research concerns. Taken together, my project contributes to understand austerity medicine itself as well as peoples’ attachments to “their” health system in Spain, and the shifting meanings and moral visions of the state, the public and citizenship they entail. It thereby fills an important research gap on changing welfare states in Southern Europe in times of austerity in a domain which greatly matters to people: health and medicine. The proposed project builds on my post-doctoral research and publications in the field of global public health as senior lecturer at the Centre for Medical Humanities at the University of Zurich. It will constitute the main part of my habilitation project in anthropology. Academically, the Ambizione project will be an important contribution to international debates in the flourishing field of medical anthropology on the unequal politics of life as well as contemporary precariousness in the domain of health and welfare. My thorough empirical study on austerity medicine based on ethnographic methods will help to understand the shifting role of the state in today’s economized public health, intimate experiences of care under increasingly precarious conditions, the production of new social and economic inequalities and the emergence of citizen insurgencies against the unequal distribution of health care. Such an anthropological perspective, because it is attentive to peoples’ everyday experience in their link to larger economic and political forces, is crucial to understanding the street-level consequences of austerity: it is grounded in providers’ and patients’ points of view, while placing them in a wider context of the global healthcare economy and the unequal worth of lives.