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Research Register
Sunil Amrith

My research is on the making of international social policy in the 1950s and 1960s. The focus of the study is the history of the United Nations’ public health work in South and Southeast Asia. The underlying theme in my work is the role of ‘development’ ideology in the making of the post-war, post-colonial, world; and the way in which this informed international public health policies. I aim to write a history that stresses the linkages and interconnections forged by international health programmes within South and Southeast Asia

My methodology combines intellectual and political history with an interest in the collective biography of individuals who worked for international organizations in the 1950s and 1960s. In this respect, I hope to convey a sense of the stories of administrators, census takers, doctors and nurses, who forged direct links between social policies in Asian states with very different domestic political systems.

So far, I have used the archives of the WHO in Geneva; the papers of the UN Career Records Project at the Bodleian Library in Oxford; the United Nations depository libraries in Cambridge and the LSE, as well as libraries and archives in India.