Dr David Brydan

Lecturer in the History of Modern International Relations

Email: david.brydan@kcl.ac.uk

Twitter Handle: @davidbrydan

My work revolves around the history of international cooperation

and exchange in the twentieth century, particularly the international

history of modern Europe. I am particularly interested in the history

of global and international health in the 20th century, including the

work of international health organisations such as the WHO, and of

international networks of health experts.

My book, Franco’s Internationalists, explores the role of health and welfare experts in promoting Spain’s Franco regime on the international stage. It explores the debate about Spain during the early history of the WHO, inter-imperial health cooperation in post-war Africa, and international networks of health experts in Latin America. I have published articles on Francoist leprosy care in colonial Africa, and international health cooperation in Nazi-occupied Europe.

Recent Publications:

Brydan, David. Franco’s Internationalists: Spanish Social Experts and Spain’s Search for Legitimacy

(Oxford University Press, 2019).

Brydan, David. ‘Transnational Exchange in the Nazi New Order: The Spanish Blue Division and its

Medical Services’, Journal of Contemporary History, https://doi.org/10.1177/0022009418786789

(August 2018)

Brydan, David. ‘Mikomeseng: Leprosy, Legitimacy and Francoist Repression in Spanish Guinea’,

Social History of Medicine, 31:3 (August 2018), 627-647.

Brydan, David. ‘Axis Internationalism: Spanish Health Experts and Nazi Germany, 1939-1945’,

Contemporary European History, 25:2 (May 2016), 291-311.

Engagement Activities:


An Authoritarian History of International Health, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine,

2018 (https://history.lshtm.ac.uk/2017/08/22/authoritarian-history-international-health-public-health-international-expertise-francos-spain/)

Leprosy and Rebellion in Spanish colonial Africa, Birkbeck, 2018 (https://soundcloud.com/birkbeck-podcasts/leprosy-and-rebellion-in-spanish-colonial-africa)


‘Strangling angel’ of diphtheria caught Spain off guard – here’s how’, The Conversation, 12 June 2015 (with Dora Vargha, https://theconversation.com/strangling-angel-of-diptheria-caught-spain-off-guard-heres-how-43148)

‘Los antivacunas y el pasado fascista de España’, El País, 12 June 2015 (with Dora Vargha, in Spanish - https://elpais.com/elpais/2015/06/12/ciencia/1434106606_164164.html)

‘La rebelión de los leprosos de Franco’, El País, 22 Jul 2019 (in Spanish, https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/07/12/ciencia/1562935976_621999.html)

'The Coronavirus response was never just about saving lives', Huffington Post, 30 March 2020 (https://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/entry/coronavirus-who-government-advice_uk_5e81e9cfc5b6cb9dc1a3e7e9?guccounter=1

'La España franquista y la politización de la OMS', El País, 28 April 2020, https://elpais.com/ciencia/2020-04-28/la-espana-franquista-y-la-politizacion-de-la-oms.html

David B KCL photo.jpg