School of Social and Political Science

Ian Harper

Job Title

Professor of Anthropology of Health and Development

Photo
Ian Harper photo

Room number

5.03

Building (Address)

Chrystal Macmillan Building

Street (Address)

15a George Square

City (Address)

Edinburgh

Country (Address)

UK

Post code (Address)

EH8 9LD

Background

Ian Harper is a trained medical practitioner who has worked in hospital medicine and general practice in the UK. For three and a half years he managed a tuberculosis control project in Nepal, and for two years worked with NGOs throughout India in supporting community health programmes. His experiences of practicing medicine and public health in such diverse cultural and political situations led him to study medical anthropology.

He served on the ASA committee as the ethics officer (2005-7) and is a co-founder of Anthropology Matters, the ASA's national web-based postgraduate network. He was secretary of the Britain Nepal Academic Council till 2014 and was an associate editor of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. He was chair of the organising committee of the 2014 ASA Decennial Conference run jointly with the Social Anthropology departments of the University of Aberdeen and University of St Andrews, under the STAR consortium.

From August 1998 to March 2000 he researched into the social relations around, and the effects of, a series of public health programmes in Palpa district, Nepal. Briefly researching into the privatisation of technical training in the health sector in Nepal, between 2007-9 he researched as part of a multidisciplinary team on a DfID / ESRC funded research project "tracing pharmaceuticals in South Asia". Between August and December 2008, at the invitation of the Director, he worked in the Nepal National Tuberculosis Programme (NTP) assisting with the implementation of Global Fund funded programmes. More recently, he was a CI on a grant from Phase 2 of the ESRC/DfID Joint Programme of Research on international development issues, entitled "Biomedical and Health Experimentation in South Asia: Critical Perspectives on Collaboration, Governance and Competition"; a CI on the ESRC funded seminar series, "Evidence in interdisciplinary contexts"; and PI on a grant from Phase 3 of the ESRC / DfID Joint Programme for the project "New Norms and Forms of Development: Brokerage in Maternal and Child Health Service Development and Delivery in Nepal and Malawi". In 2012 he received a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Grant for the project: Understanding TB Control: Technologies, Ethics and Programmes.

He was the founding Director of the Edinburgh Centre for Medical Anthropology.

Selected Publications

Monographs

2014 (Paperback, 2017). Development and Public Health in the Himalaya: Reflections on healing in Contemporary Nepal. Routledge.

Edited Collections

2019. Understanding Tuberculosis and its Control: Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches. Routledge. (WIth Helen MacDonald).

2015. The Clinic and the Court. Cambridge University Press. (with Toby Kelly and Akshay Khanna).

2014. The Politics and Anti-Politics of Infectious Disease Control. Medical Anthropology. 33: 198 - 205. (With Melissa Parker)

2008. Diaspora and Disease. International Migration (with Paru Raman). (Introduction: Harper, I and P Raman 2008. "Less than Human? Diaspora, Disease and the Question of Citizenship". International Migration Vol. 46 (5): 3-26)

2006. The Anthropology of Public Health. Journal of Biosocial Science (with Melissa Parker). (Introduction: Parker, M and I Harper 2006. The Anthropology of Public Health. J. Biosoc. Sci. (2006), 38, 1-5)

Peer reviewed journal articles

Sharma J, R Khatri & I Harper (2018). Accountability and generating evidence for global health interventions: The case of misoprostol in Nepal. IDS Bulletin.

Sharma J & I Harper (2017). Britain-Nepal relations through the prism of aid. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research.

Sharma J, R Khatri & I Harper (2016). Understanding Health Research Ethics in Nepal, Developing World Bio-ethics, (Special Issue: the Ethics of Health Systems Research in Low and Middle-income Countries)

Brhlikova P, I Harper, M Subedi, S Bhattarai, N Rawal & A Pollock. 2015. Aid conditionalities, International Good Manufacturing Practice standards, and local production rights: a case study of local production in Nepal. Globalisation and Health (2015) 11:25

Taylor EM & I Harper, 2013. The Politics and Anti-Politics of the Global Fund Experiment: Understanding Partnership and Bureaucratic Expansion in Uganda. Medical Anthropology. doi: 10.1080/01459740.2013.796941

Harper I, E Mitchell & S Theobald, 2012. Editorial: Improving Qualitative Research in the Journal International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease. 16 (1): 2-3

Harper I, N Rawal & M Subedi, 2011. "Disputing distribution: Ethics and pharmaceutical regulation in Nepal" Studies in Nepali History and Society.

Brhlikova P, I Harper, R Jeffery, N Rawal, M Subedi & Santhosh M.R 2011. “Trust and the Regulation of Pharmaceuticals: South Asia in a Globalised World”. Globalisation and Health. 2011, 7:10 (29 April 2011)

Harper, I 2010. “Extreme condition, extreme measures? Compliance, drug resistance and the control of tuberculosis”. Anthropology & Medicine, 17 (2) 201-214.

Kohrt, B & I Harper, I 2008. "Navigating diagnoses: Understanding mind-body relations, stigma and mental health in Nepal" Cult Med Psychiatry 32:462-491.

Harper, I 2007. "Translating ethics: Researching public health and medical practices in Nepal" Social Science & Medicine 65 (2007) 2235-2247.

Harper, I 2006. “Anthroplogy, DOTS and Understanding tuberculosis control in Nepal”. J. Biosoc. Sci. (2006) 38, 57-67.

Harper, I and A Corsin Jiminez 2005. “Towards an interactive professional ethics”. Anthropology Today, Vol. 21, No. 6, pp. 10-12

Harper, I 2002 "Capsular promise as public health: A critique of the Nepal National Vitamin A Programme". Studies in Nepali History and Society 7(1): 137-173

Book chapters

Harper I & R Khatri, 2019. Diagnosing Tuberculosis: A Case Study from Nepal. In H MacDonald & I Harper (eds) Understanding Tuberculosis and its Control: Anthroplogical and Ethnographic Approaches. Routledge.

Harper I and R Jeffery, 2019. The Skull Room: Craniological past of Edinburgh and India. In R Jeffery (ed) India in Edinburgh. Social Science Press.

Harper I and N Rawal, 2015. Living and dieing with mycobacteria: Tuberculosis and the regulation of anti-tuberculous drugs in Nepal. In Han C and V Das (eds) An Anthropology of Living and Dieing in the Contemprary World: A Compendium. University of California Press.

Harper, I 2015. Courts and the control of TB: Quarantine, travel and the question of adherence, in I Harper, T Kelly and A. Khanna (eds) The Clinic and the Court. Cambridge University Press.

Harper, I 2013 "Ethics" in N Konopinski (ed) Doing Anthropological Research: A Practical Guide. Routledge.

Ecks, S and I Harper, 2013 "There is no regulation, actually": The Private market for Anti-TB Drugs in India. In J, Biehl & A. Petreyna (Eds) When People Come First: Anthropology, Actuality and Theory in Global Health. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Harper, I 2011. "World Health and Nepal: Producing Internationals, Healthy Citizenship and the Cosmopolitan". In David Mosse (ed) Adventures in Aidland: The Anthropology of Professionals in International Development. Berghahn.

Harper, I 2009. "Mediating Therapeutic Uncertainty: A Mission Hospital in Nepal" In Harrison M, M Jones & H Sweet (eds) From Western Medicine to Global Medicine: The Hospital Beyond the West. Orient Longman, Delhi.

Harper, I 2008. "Confidentiality in Non-western countries". In Clark C & J McGee (eds) Private and Confidential? Handling Personal Information in Social and Health Services. The Polity Press.

Harper, I and B Maddox 2008. "The impossibility of wellbeing: Development language and the pathologisation of Nepal" In Alberto Corsin Jimenez (ed) Culture and Well-being: Anthropological Approaches to Freedom and Political Ethics. London: Pluto Press.

Other publications include

Harper I. 2019. A History of Global Health: Interventions into the Lives of Other Peoples. Packard, Randall M., Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2016, 432 pp.. Medical Anthropology Quarterly, 33

Sharma J, IHarper, R Adhikari, P Smith, D Thapa, O B Chand, A Malata. 2017. Comment — WHO outsourcing dilemma: for whose benefit, at whose expense? BMJ Global Health. DOI: 10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000237

Harper, I & A Street. 2015. Ian Harper's Development and Public Health in the Himalaya. Somatosphere.

Street A, E M Taylor, J Smith & I Harper. 2014. Diagnostics for development. Somatosphere

Ellen M. H. Mitchell, Ian Harper & Sally Theobald, Associate Editors, IJTLD. 2012. Guidelines for preparing manuscripts on qualitative research in the IJTLD.

Hayman R, Taylor EM, Crawford F, Jeffery P, Smith J, Harper I (2011) The impact of aid on maternal and reproductive health: A systematic review to evaluate the effect of aid on the outcomes of Millennium Development Goal 5. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London.

J. Pettigrew. J., S Shneiderman and I Harper 2004. "Relationships, Complicity and Representation: Conducting Research in Nepal during the Maoist Insurgency". Anthropology Today. Vol 20, No. 1, pp.20-26.

Recent workshops organised

7th Britain-Nepal Academic Council Nepal Study Day, 30th March, 2009

THE POLITICS AND ANTI-POLITICS OF INFECTIOUS DISEASE CONTROL, June 23rd – June 24th 2010. A workshop jointly organised by the Centre for Research in International Medical Anthropology, Brunel University and the School of Social and Political Science, University of Edinburgh

THE CLINIC AND THE COURT: Understanding Harm and Remedy, May 26th - May 27th 2011. School of Social and Political Studies, University of Edinburgh.

Infectious Disease and Wealth: Exploring the Links between Tuberculosis and the Political Economy. June 2014. Panel co-organised at the ASA Decennial Conference, Edinburgh.

Art and Medical Anthropology, April 2015. Panel co-organised for the ASA Conference, Exeter.

Evidence and Organisations in Development, October 2016. Conference co-organised for Spaces of Evidence, Edinburgh

Reproductive Futures in Maternal and Child Health, July 2016. Panel co-organised for the ASA conference, Durham.

Qualitative Research for Tuberculosis Control: What Lessons can Researchers offer to Policymakers and Implementers in tackling drug-resistant TB? Symposium organised for the World Lung Health Conference, Liverpool. October 2016.

Understanding health workers at the interface of community and development. Panel coorganised for the Oxford ASA 18 conference: Sociality, matter, and the imagination: re-creating Anthropology, October 2018.

Research interests

Research interests

International development, South Asia, Medical Anthropology, Global Health Policy

Topics interested in supervising

Interested in supervising students in areas related to: anthropology and (public) health, those working on Nepal, and particularly with students who wish to develop interdisciplinary research experience.

If you are interested in being supervised by Ian Harper, please see the links below (open in new windows) for more information:

Works within

Staff Hours and Guidance

Semester 2, Tuesday 10:00 - 12:00

Publications by user content

Publication Research Explorer link
Ganguli-Mitra A, Young I, Engelmann L, Harper I, McCormack D, Marsland R et al. Segmenting communities as public health strategy: A view from the social sciences and humanities. Wellcome Open Research . 2020 May 26. https://doi.org/10.12688/wellcomeopenres.15975.1
Harper I, Khatri R. Diagnosing tuberculosis. In Macdonald H, Harper I, editors, Understanding Tuberculosis and Its Control: Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches. 1 ed. London: Routledge. 2019. p. 259-277 https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429457104-14
Macdonald H, (ed.), Harper I, (ed.). Understanding Tuberculosis and Its Control: Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches. 1 ed. London: Routledge, 2019. 282 p. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429457104
Macdonald H, Mason PH, Harper I. Introduction. In Macdonald H, Harper I, editors, Understanding Tuberculosis and Its Control: Anthropological and Ethnographic Approaches. 1 ed. London: Routledge. 2019. p. 1-23 https://doi.org/10.4324/9780429457104-1
Sharma J, Khatri R, Harper I. Accountability and generating evidence for global health: Misoprostol in Nepal. IDS Bulletin. 2018 May 8;49(2):49-64. https://doi.org/10.19088/1968-2018.135
Sharma J, Harper I. Britain-Nepal Relations through the prism of Aid. European Bulletin of Himalayan Research. 2018 Mar 31;50/51:145-161.
Sharma J, Harper I, Adhikari R, Smith P, Thapa D, Chand O et al. Comment — WHO outsourcing dilemma: For whose benefit, at whose expense? BMJ Global Health. 2017 Jan 25;2(Suppl 1):i3- i4. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmjgh-2016-000237
Sharma J, Khatri R, Harper I. Understanding health research ethics in Nepal. Developing World Bioethics. 2016 Dec 30;16(3):140-147. https://doi.org/10.1111/dewb.12109
Abeysinghe S (Photographer), Brondi L (Photographer), Harper I (Author), Lesshafft H (Photographer), Lowe L (Photographer), Nading A (Photographer) et al. A forum on the Zika virus Somatosphere. 2016.
Harper I, Rawal N. Living and dying with mycobacteria: Tuberculosis and the regulation of anti-tuberculous drugs in Nepal. In Das V, Han C, editors, Living and Dying in the Contemporary World: A Compendium. Oakland: University of California Press. 2015. p. 232-250. 10 https://doi.org/10.1525/9780520961067
Brhlikova P, Harper I, Subedi M, Bhattarai S, Rawal N, Pollock AM. Aid conditionalities, international Good Manufacturing Practice standards and local production rights: A case study of local production in Nepal. Globalization and Health. 2015 Jun 14;11(1). 25. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12992-015-0110-3
Harper I. Courts and the control of TB: Quarantine, travel and the question of adherance. In Harper I, Kelly T, Khanna A, editors, The Clinic and the Court: Law, Medicine & Anthropology. Cambridge University Press. 2015. 9. (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society).
Kelly T, (ed.), Harper I, (ed.), Khanna A, (ed.). The Clinic and the Court: Law, Medicine and Anthropology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2015. 320 p. (Cambridge Studies in Law and Society).
Harper I. Development and Public Health in the Himalaya: Reflections on Healing in Contemporary Nepal. 1 ed. Abingdon: Routledge, 2014. 184 p. (Routledge/Edinburgh South Asian Studies Series).
Taylor EM, Harper I. The Politics and Anti-Politics of the Global Fund Experiment: Understanding Partnership and Bureaucratic Expansion in Uganda. Medical Anthropology. 2013 May 9. https://doi.org/10.1080/01459740.2013.796941
Ecks S, Harper I. Public-Private Mixes: The Market for Anti-Tuberculosis Drugs in India. In Biehl J, Petryna A, editors, When People Come First: Critical Studies in Global Health. Princeton University Press. 2013. p. 252-275
Hayman R, Taylor EM, Crawford F, Jeffery P, Smith J, Harper I. The Impact of Aid on Maternal and Reproductive Health: A Systematic Review to Evaluate the Effect of Aid on the outcomes of Millennium Development Goal 5: The Impact of Aid on Maternal and Reproductive Health. London: EPPI-Centre, Social Science Research Unit, Institute of Education, University of London, 2011.
Harper I, Rawal N, Subedi M. Disputing Distribution: Ethics and Pharmaceutical Regulation in Nepal. Studies in Nepali History and Society. 2011 Jun;16(1):1-39.
Harper I. World Health and Nepal: Producing Internationals, Healthy Citizenship and the Cosmopolitan. In Mosse D, editor, Adventures in Aidland: The Anthropology of Professionals in International Development. Berghahn Books. 2011. (Studies in Public and Applied Anthropology).
Brhlikova P, Harper I, Jeffery R, Rawal N, Subedi M, Santhosh MR. Trust and the Regulation of Pharmaceuticals: South Asia in a Globalised World. Globalization and Health. 2011;7. 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/1744-8603-7-10
Ecks S, Harper I. ‘'There is no regulation, actually” : the private market for anti-TB drugs in India. In When people come first : anthropology and social innovation in global health . Duke University Press. 2011
Harper I. Extreme condition, extreme measures? Compliance, drug resistance and the control of tuberculosis. Anthropology and Medicine. 2010 Aug;17(2):201-214. https://doi.org/10.1080/13648470.2010.493606
Harper I, Jeffery R. Trust, ethics and spurious medicine. Himal South Asian. 2009 Aug.
Harper I. What is the relevance of clinical trials findings to national treatment regimens? : the case of rifampicin. University of Edinburgh. 2009 Jun 1.
Harper I. National tuberculosis control programmes of Nepal and India : are they using the correct treatment regimens? Journal of Health Studies. 2009 Jan 1;2.
Harper I. Mediating Therapeutic Uncertainty: A Mission Hospital in Nepal. In Harrison M, Jones M, Sweet HM, editors, From Western Medicine to Global Medicine: The Hospital Beyond the West. Orient BlackSwan. 2009. p. 303-329. (New Perspectives in South Asian History).
Kohrt B, Harper I. Navigating Diagnoses: Understanding Mind-Body Relations, Mental Health, and Stigma in Nepal. Culture, Medicine and Psychiatry. 2008;32(4):462-491. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11013-008-9110-6
Harper I. Confidentiality in Practice: Non-Western Perspectives on Privacy. In Clark C, McGhee J, editors, Private and Confidential? Handling Personal Information in Social and Health Services. Policy Press. 2008. p. 49-62
Harper I, maddox B. The impossibility of wellbeing: Development language and the pathologisation of Nepal. In Jimenez A, editor, Culture and Well-being: Anthropological Approaches to Freedom and Political Ethics. London: Pluto Press. 2008. p. 35-52
Harper I, Raman P. Less than Human? Diaspora, Disease and the Question of Citizenship. International Migration. 2008;46(5):3-26. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2435.2008.00486.x
Jeffery P, Ecks S, Basu S, Bhattarai S, Singh N, Brhilikova P et al. Qualitative research on fluoxetine and oxytocin in India. University of Edinburgh. 2007 Jul 3.
Harper I, Subedi MS, Bhattarai S, Basu S, Das Gupta A, Ecks S et al. Drug procurement in Nepal. University of Edinburgh. 2007 Jul 3.
Jeffery R, Basu S, Bhattarai S, Brhilikova P, Das Gupta A, Ecks S et al. Pharmaceuticals distribution systems in India. University of Edinburgh. 2007 Jul 2, p. 27. (Centre for International Public Health Policy working paper).
Harper I. Translating Ethics: Researching Public Health and Medical Practices in Nepal. Social Science & Medicine. 2007;65(11):2235-2247. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.socscimed.2007.08.007
Harper I. Anthropology, DOTS and Understanding TB control in Nepal. Journal of Biosocial Science. 2006;38(1):57-67. https://doi.org/10.1017/S0021932005000982