Our recurring annual topics are climate crisis; war, refugees and trauma; the securitization of health, and health between profit and the common good. We evaluate and adapt the annual programmes in the light of current events and developments.
This topic explores interdependencies between the climate crisis, militarisation and violent conflict, climate justice and health. It addresses root causes for poor health and climate injustice within the globalised neo-liberal economy and colonial continuities. Through an intersectional approach we improve our analysis of specific and unequally distributed vulnerabilities in the face of climate change, violence or ill-health, and structural barriers (i.e., to participation or healthcare access). We seek to envision alternatives and solutions and to draw on decolonial perspectives, indigenous struggles, divestment campaigns and practices of care and commoning.
War, refugees and trauma
This topic explores the relationships between political violence, trauma, empowerment, and health. It addresses the root causes of refugee movements and the increasing militarisation of border regimes, as well as the social and political situations for refugees in different host countries and their effects on a person’s right to health. It explores how trauma as a cross-sectional consequence of distressing events such as climate crisis, displacement, and violence exponentially multiplies already present stressors in susceptible populations. As future health professionals, it is important to develop a basic understanding of trauma and trauma symptoms caused by “man-made disasters”, to develop trauma-sensitive skills, and to understand the cultural embeddedness of trauma as well as the social and political determinants of health and healing.
Securitization of health
This topic critically engages with the discourse and policy approach of global health security. From a perspective of global health security, especially prominent in the rich countries of the Global North, health is understood as a security issue and diseases are coined as security risks. We will address how this approach places an increased focus on containing infectious diseases and tends to secure some at the expense of others, often reinforcing racist or paternalistic views of the Global South, rather than on strengthening cooperation and health systems worldwide. We will explore the political and democratic implications of this approach from a decolonial perspective and engage with critical feminist perspectives on global health and security. We will also ask whether the concept of human security can provide an alternative for our political activism.
Health between profit and common good
This summer school explores the interconnections between globalised capitalism, inequality, and health in the light of current events. We focus on ways in which ethics can guide and support our work as health professionals and political activists dedicated to Health for All. We use intersectional and feminist approaches to learn about the socioeconomic determinants of health, the role of the neoliberal economy in a globalised world, and its effects on health. We address the issue of health as a commodity versus health as a common good and human right and shed light on historical and current fights between peoples’ health and corporate interest. We discuss ethical challenges practitioners face in the medical and public health field and seek inspiration from examples of health care based on solidarity and human needs for our activism.