Ian Harper

Guidance and Feedback Hours

Semester 2: Mondays, 10:00 - 12:00 

Biographical Statement

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 is the current secretary of the Britain Nepal Academic Council, and is an associate editor of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

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. He is currently 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" which started in September 2010. 

From 2012 he is the recipient of a Wellcome Trust Senior Investigator Grant for the project: Understanding TB Control: Technologies, Ethics and Programmes



Selected Publications


2014. Development and Public Health in the Himalaya: Reflections on healing in Contemporary Nepal. Routledge.

Edited Collections:

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:

Taylor EM & I Harper, 2013. The Politics and Anti-Politics of the Global Fund Experiment: Understanding Partnership and Bureaucratic Expansion in Uganda. Medical Anthropologydoi: 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, in press. "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

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.

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

Baksi C, I Harper & M Raj 1998. “A Well Woman Clinic in Bangalore: one strategy to attempt to decrease the transmission of HIV infection”. International Journal of STD and AIDS 1998; 9: 418 - 423.

Jochem K, R Fryatt , I Harper, A White, H Luitel & R Dahal, 1997. “Tuberculosis control in remote districts of Nepal comparing patient-responsible short-course chemotherapy with long-course treatment”. Int. J. Tuberc. Lung Dis. 1, 502 - 508.

Harper I, R Fryatt & A White, 1996. “Tuberculosis case finding in remote mountainous areas - are microscopy camps of any value? Experience from Nepal”. Tubercle and Lung Disease1996: 77, 384 - 388.

Book Chapters:

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.

Harper, I & R Adhikari 2006. "Nursing, the Health of Cities and Urban Livelihoods in Nepal" in Baskhar Gautam & Jaganath Adhikari (eds) Urbanisation and Livelihoods. Kathmandu; Martin Chautari.

Harper, I 2005. "Interconnected and interinfected: DOTS and the stabilisation of the tuberculosis control programme in Nepal". In David Mosse and David Lewis (eds) The Aid Effect: Giving and Governing in International Development, London: Pluto

Harper, I & P Onta 2004. "Teaching the canon? Reflections on Anthropology's responsibilities". In David Mills and Mark Harris (eds) Teaching rites and wrongs: Universities and the making of anthropologists. Birmingham: Centre for learning and teaching Sociology, Anthropology and Politics (C-SAP)

Harper, I 2004. "Globalisation: The case of tuberculosis and its control in Nepal". In Des Chene, M. and P. Onta (eds) Socialist Ideas in the Context of Nepal. Kathmandu: Himal Books.

Harper, I and C Tarnowski 2003. "A Heterotopia of Resistance: Health, community forestry and challenges to state centralisation in Nepal". In Gellner D (ed) Resistance and the State: Nepalese Experiences. Delhi: Social Science Press.

Other publications include:  

 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.

Harper, I 2009. National Tuberculosis Control Programmes of Nepal and India: Are They Using the Correct Treatment Regimens? Journal of Health Studies 2, 2009.

Harper, I and R Jeffery 2009. "Trust, ethics and spurious medicine" Himal South Asia August 2009

Harper, I and N Mookherjee 2009. "Debates on Ethical Practice: A Perspective from the Association of Social Anthropologists" in Anthropology News (American Anthropological Association).

Kohrt, B., W Tol & I Harper 2007. Reconsidering somatic presentation of generalized anxiety disorder in Nepal. J Nerv Ment Dis 2007 Jun; 195 (6): 544. 

Harper, I., P Brhlikova, M Subedi & S Bhattarai 2007. "Drug Procurement in Nepal" Working paper

Brhlikova, P., I Harper & A Pollock 2007. Good Manufacturing Practice in the Pharmaceutical Industry. Working Paper.  

Harper, I & R marsland 2005. “Editorial: The politics of publishing in anthropology - introductory remarks”.Anthropology Matters Journal 2005, Vol 7. (2).

Harper, I & P Onta 2005. “The politics of publishing: a case study from Nepal”. (Interview with Pratyoush Onta) Anthropology Matters Journal 2005, Vol 7. (2).

Harper, I 2004. "Arguments for demilitarization in Nepal: A health perspective". Jijibisha - Journal for Physicians for Social Responsibility, Nepal.

Harper, I. 2003. “Mining the Mosaic of Mystic Medicine”. THES. 1st August 2003. 

Harper, I 2003.  Correspondence: Rebuttal, evidence and debate. IJTLD. 7(1): 100. 

Harper I & R Adhikari, 2001. “Tuberculosis and Mental Health”. Disability Dialogue Issue 2.



Recent workshops organised: 

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



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. 




Photo: Ian Harper