HiAP as a Line of Flight: Deleuze, Guattari, and Health For All

Author: Bradley Bommarito
Major: Philosophy
Approved: Spring 2021
Status: In progress

With the Declaration of Alma-Ata of 1978 at the International Conference on Primary Health Care, governments around the globe imparted a newly recognized importance on health care as an absolutely essential aspect of a basic quality of life.  Long considered a luxury by many western states and politicians, health care was held to be as vital to life as food, water, and shelter.  The subsequent development of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Health For All initiative further amplified the central importance of health care as a human right that affects all aspects of our lives.  Additionally, recent climate research and the COVID-19 pandemic have illustrated the complex relationships among human health, animal health, the health of our ecosystems, and the health of our planet.  Health For All is primarily a catchy slogan in support of universal health care, but it also calls to mind the interconnected nature of health and the world around us.

In A Thousand Plateaus, Deleuze and Guattari conceptualize the world as a series of rhizomes and plateaus through which intensities circulate and interconnect via lines of flight.  Global health can be seen as a rhizome, with health and wellness intensities circulating and interconnecting in the form of lines of flight.  Deleuze and Guattari’s ideas will be drawn upon to support the CDC’s Health in All Policies (HiAP) approach to public health, which recognizes that a multitude of factors should be considered in public health policymaking.  This project will explore the HiAP approach to public health as a line of flight and utilize concepts created by Deleuze and Guattari to illustrate some of the incredibly diverse ways in which the HiAP approach impacts human, animal, and environmental health.  Support for the HiAP approach will be derived from Deleuze and Guattari’s line of flight concept.