CONFERENCE 'Health, Medicine and Civil-Military relations'

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Organisers: OCHSMT, King’s College London, Kyung Hee University, Yonsei University and Aix-Marseille University and at Sciences Po Aix

Financial support: this workshop is supported by an Arts and Humanities Research Council research grant (‘Medicine and Conflict, c.1945-c.1980: The United Kingdom and the Savage Wars of Peace’, AH/T013656/1) and the Maison Française d’Oxford.


Military and civilian medicine and healthcare have different aims and priorities but are often closely linked. On the one hand, civilian health infrastructure, and the health status of the population as a whole, directly affect military health and healthcare. On the other, the military has played a significant part in shaping the landscape of health epidemiologically as well as through its contributions to medical science and healthcare systems. Deployed forces have also attempted to use medical interventions to positively influence the operational environment and to foster political stability. This workshop re-assesses some of these intersections between civilian and military domains. Its aim is to understand the role that medicine has played historically in conflict situations, as well as to explore some of the ways in which historical insights might be applied to ongoing and future situations.


Download the programme with abstracts here.




DAY 1 - Thursday 6 July

13:30-14:00 Registration
14:00-14:15 Welcome and introduction (Mark Harrison & Benoit Pouget)


Session 1: Medical support in counter-insurgency campaigns

14:15-14:45 Benoit Pouget (Sciences Po Aix, Medicine in the war zone: Emergency administration of war wounded during the Indochina war 1946-1954

14:45-15:15 Atsuko Naono (University of Oxford, From the Burma campaign to the Malay emergency: disease, medicine, and jungle warfare

15:15-15:45 Refreshments


Session 2: Hearts & minds

15:45-16:45 Mark Harrison (University of Oxford, Medicine for hearts and minds: British counter-insurgency campaigns from Malaya to Dhofar (Keynote)

16:45-17:15 John DiMoia (Seoul National University, "Free Haircuts" and civic actions: Korean village outreach during the Vietnam War


DAY 2 - Friday 7 July


Session 3: Caring for casualties

09:30-10:00 Insok Yeo (Yonsei University, Psychiatric casualties during the Korean War

10:00-10:30 Sophie Gueudet (Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, War wounds: post-war care for Republika Srpska’s veterans in Yugoslavia

10:30-11:00 Refreshments


Session 4: Humanitarian assistance

11:00-12:00 Bertrand Taithe (University of Manchester, Civilians at war? Representations and dilemmas of humanitarian medical relief in contemporary wars 1979-2022 (Keynote)

12:00-12:30 Dongkue Lee (Kyung Hee University, The Scandinavian endeavour for the World Health Order: Medical assistance, UNKRA, and the National Medical Centre in Seoul, 1951-1958


Concluding comments

12:30-13:00 Martin Bricknell (King’s College London,

Observations and lessons for civil-military medical relations – an interpretation of the evidence (Concluding remarks)

13:00-14:00 Lunch

14:00-15:00 Discussion of future plans