Making sense of EU pandemic recovery: a discursive map connecting health and economic growth

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

The health of economies and that of people are related. How this relationship is best governed, however, is contested. EU policymakers must make sense of this relationship when developing pandemic recovery strategies. One point of contention relates to whether economic growth is a necessary precondition for a healthier population.

The mainstream assumption is that economic growth is good and necessary for population health, provided it is 'green' and 'inclusive'. But heterodox research highlights the fundamental unsustainability - and health-harming effects - of seeking continuous economic growth in a world of finite resources.

Amidst this landscape of contested knowledge, this article maps out the discourses relating health and growth in pandemic recovery-related documents in four EU institutions (Commission, Parliament, Council, and the European Central Bank) over three years (2020-2022). Using discourse network analysis (DNA), it presents a visualisation of the relationship between prevailing ideas on economic recovery and health.

This is a work-in-progress presentation.

About the speaker

Charlotte Godziewski is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in International Politics at City, University of London. Her research explores the politics of health, with a current empirical focus on the EU. Her doctoral thesis was awarded the 2021 Best PhD Thesis Prize by the University Association for Contemporary European Studies (UACES). Charlotte is a coordinator of 'EUHealthGov', the UACES-funded research network on EU Health Governance, and an Associate Editor of Health Promotion International.

COVID protocols

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This seminar presentation will be in-person only.

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Image credit: Photo of KN90 mask against a background of € notes and coins, by romanakr on pixabay, free to use under pixabay licence.


Date and Times


Room: Seminar Room 1.04