Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type



Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Ellen Furlough


The following paper explores the rise of global biopolitics by focusing on the League of Nations Health Organization (LNHO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) as pivot points around which an international system transitioned into a global system. The central thesis of the paper is that the LNHO served as the first true site of deployment for global discourses on health and hygiene, not as recent scholarship has suggested, the WHO. The purpose of the paper, however, is to provide an overview of the larger transformation of public health in the twentieth century, beginning with the proliferation of nineteenth-­‐century international health organizations and culminating in the WHO. Central to this argument is the belief that population control is the ultimate end of the modern state, firmly placing discourses on health and hygiene at the nexus of modern politics. At its heart, this paper is about the nature of the modern state in relation to an increasingly global world.

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