The League of Nations Health Organisation (LNHO, 1921–46) intended to be a global organisation. This paper examines the expansion of its operation into Asia in its initial period. It draws attention to an attempt by the Far Eastern Association of Tropical Medicine (FEATM 1910-38) of regional health governing in Asia in 1910-23, and argues that the LNHO co-opted this attempt in its quest to be global. It suggests the significance of this co-option in three main points. First it meant inter-colonialism of the FEATM became an important layer of internationalism of the LNHO. Second, it demonstrates a crucial and active role played by Japanese public health experts, ‘often known as silent partner’ at international organisations, in this conjunction. Third, it questions a conventionally assumed pattern of global norm making and dissemination through the case of the International Sanitary Convention.
The project is funded by the ARC discovery grant. All welcome. You are invited to join the speaker for drinks after the seminar at Fellows Bar, University House