Making a New Countryside

Health Policies and Practices in European History ca. 1860-1950

by Astri Andresen (Volume editor) Josep Lluis Barona Vilar (Volume editor) Steven Cherry (Volume editor)
©2010 Edited Collection 210 Pages


How and why did ‘the rural’ emerge as a medico-political problem, and how was this issue addressed in different parts of Europe? This book investigates how rural environments became associated with particularised concepts of sickness and health, and how such views changed over time. Responses, in the form of successful and failed attempts to make a ‘new’ countryside, are analysed at local, regional and national levels – to some extent also involving international dimensions – covering sanitary and social campaigns, legislation and regulation, as well as the establishment and functioning of health services. The volume demonstrates the ambiguous position of rural society in European culture and politics. ‘The rural’ represented the good, clean, and unspoilt; yet it was perceived as backwards, uncivilised, and on the margins of ‘the modern’. This volume shows how medical science and medical practitioners contributed both to the ambiguity of ‘the rural’ and to the ‘civilisation’ of country-dwellers, and additionally demonstrates the strong political and cultural positions held by rural populations in some of the countries.


ISBN (Hardcover)
Hospitals Public health policies Sanitary campaigs Medical offers of health Food safety
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2010. 209 pp., num. fig. and graphs

Biographical notes

Astri Andresen (Volume editor) Josep Lluis Barona Vilar (Volume editor) Steven Cherry (Volume editor)

The Editors: Astri Andresen is Professor of History at the Department of Archaeology, History, Cultural Studies and Religion at the University of Bergen (Norway). Josep L. Barona is Professor of the History of Science and Head of the Department of the History of Science and Documentation at Universidad de Valencia (Spain). Steven Cherry is Reader in the History of Medicine, School of History at the University of East Anglia, Norwich (UK).


Title: Making a New Countryside