Contact person:
Michael Strange
Responsible at Malmö University:
Michael Strange
Project members:
  • Carol Nilsson - Lund University
Time frame:
01 January 2019 - 31 December 2021
Research environment :

About the project

Our consortium seeks to address an urgent challenge to society, namely the requirement to better understand how health practitioners and policy-makers can respond to increasing variations in the Swedish population that impact health needs and outcomes. To achieve that goal, the proposed multinational consortium is intended to internationalize the development of:

  1. precision healthcare tools that are sensitive to the needs of a varied population;
  2. political science research to identify the social exclusions that undermine precision healthcare and, using democractic theories, to explore the options for ensuring medical practitioners are better equipped to listen and acknowledge variation amongst the individuals they treat; and
  3. educational modules associated to these research topics. In the long-term perspective, our innovative programme is likely to increase the equality of precision treatment in Sweden, as well as promote the integration and education of new citizens, followed by an improvement in health equity with additional benefits for Sweden.

Recent advances within healthcare and medical research have been uneven globally, but also within nation-states, with the result that there is growing interest in the relevance of both environmental and genomic factors in determining how best to treat patients and ensure a healthy society. At the same time, health has become an increasingly central issue within how societies mark out their borders and internal structures, excluding those without the sufficient residency papers, or segregating access along wealth, racial, or gender lines. In that context, health practitioners have spoken increasingly of ’Precision Health’, meaning greater understanding and collection of data that is sensitive to these disparities so as to better tailor healthcare towards different communities, both to enhance well-being, but counter the worst consequences of societal inequalities.

Drawing on the Social Sciences, health is understood as a central mechanism not only for enhancing welfare, but also through which everyday people experience being part of society. For over two decades, scholars working in both the Health and Social Sciences have spoken of ’Health Democracy’ – using democratic models to enhance patient access to healthcare, but also to better study the role of healthcare and medical research within society. We use the term ’everyday democracy’ to move further in that direction, understanding mundane medical and health interactions as fundamental to the shaping of contemporary society. Health, healthcare, and medical research have a significant impact on how citizenship – both as legally codified and practised – is experienced, but also the extent to which a society is maintained.

International consortium

PHED is an international consortium led by Lund University and Malmö University, involving the University of Texas, Baylor College of Medicine, and the Federal University Rio de Janeiro. At Malmö University, it is a cross-faculty collaboration between the Faculty of Culture and Society (Dept. of Global Political Studies) and the Faculty of Health and Society (Dept. of Care Sciences), and will be hosted by the Research Centre Malmö Institute for Studies of Migration, Diversity and Welfare (MIM). The main project finance for our first three year period has been generously provided after a successful application to The Swedish Foundation for International Cooperation in Research and Higher Education (STINT - Stiftelsen för internationalisering av högre utbildning och forskning).