Undercurrents: Decolonizing global health, and UK foreign policy since Suez

Interviews explore contemporary debates about decolonization in the fields of global health and development, and trace Britain’s pursuit of an international role.

Audio Published 19 March 2021 Updated 30 March 2021 57 minute listen

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp relief the unequal power distributions present in the global health system. From vaccine nationalism to western assumptions of superior public health preparedness, the global response has been hampered by a failure to heed the perspectives, concerns and experience of public health practitioners from the Global South, and the communities they serve. These problems are far from new, with roots stretching back into the era of colonialism. In this week’s Undercurrents, Lara Hollmann is joined by Dr Ngozi Erondu and Dr Mishal Khan to discuss efforts to decolonize the institutions and practices of global health.  

Imperial legacies are also the subject of this week’s second interview. In the week the UK government published its Integrated Review of Security, Defence, Development and Foreign Policy, Ben explores the recent history of UK foreign policy with Philip Stephens. Stephens’ latest book, Britain Alone, traces the UK’s pursuit of a global role after the fall of the British Empire. They discuss public perceptions of British foreign policy, the UK’s relations with the United States and Europe, and the legacy of the British Empire in  contemporary political debates. 

Note: this episode was recorded prior to the publication of the Integrated Review.