This meeting, to be held at Harvard on May 4th 2010, will be concerned with health and economic crises in Latin America and Lusophone countries, in the context of global trends. It will bring together historians, economists, political scientists, and scholars of public health in order to explore the diverse and complex ways in which economic crises impact health systems and individual access to healthcare.


The workshop will include five sessions over one day. First, Dr. Gilberto Hochman of Fiocruz will explore the impact of economic crisis on public health institutions in Brazil. The second session, “Past Global Economic Crises: Exploring the Role of International Health Organizations,” will consider these themes in a broader context by looking at the work of international health organizations during past global economic crises, specifically the Great Depression and the oil crises of the 1970s.


The third session, “Latin America and Crises: Managing Health,” will focus more specifically on how Latin American countries have, in the recent past, attempted to reform their health systems and explore potential consequences of the present financial crisis on access to healthcare and health inequalities. The fourth session, “Health Rights and the Welfare State: A Lusophone Perspective,” will discuss the evolution of the welfare state from a Lusophone perspective, examining the changing role of the state and its ability to guarantee health rights in Portugal and Portuguese-speaking Africa.


Finally, the concluding session will bring together the themes of the day and allow for a more general discussion of health and inequality.


The meeting is sponsored by the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, Joint Center for History and Economics, DRCLAS-Brazil Studies Program, Mexican Health Foundation, and Universidad del Rosario (Colombia). For more details, please contact Melissa Teixeira.



The poster for this workshop is available to download. Click on the poster image below to obtain the PDF.