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Home arrow Political science arrow From Hunger to Malnutrition: The Political Economy of Scientific Knowledge in Europe, 1918-1960

The Production of Scientific Knowledge and Social Practices: the International Response

The political, demographic and economic consequences of the Great War during the following decades were an immense threat to international stability. Food had already been included on the agenda of international meetings of experts and social movements before the First World War, stretching from malnutrition and relief, the feeding of children and pregnant women, to adulteration and the search for a healthy, balanced diet. In the 1920s there was a shift away from charitable relief to a more professionalised and scientific approach to nutritional relief.[1] The International Labour Organisation [ILO] and the League of Nations’ Health Organisation placed the emphasis on the production and use of scientific knowledge. They became international transmitters of new nutritional knowledge, as well as places from where reformers put pressure on their national governments to raise minimum standards and social benefits.[2]

  • [1] I have analysed these activities in more detail in my book Barona, 2010.
  • [2] Trentmann, Just, 2006, pp. 29-30.
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