Obituary Hans Lofgren (1953–2014)

Published date01 December 2014
Date01 December 2014
Subject MatterObituaries
Military-Madrasa-Mullah Complex 259
India Quarterly, 66, 2 (2010): 133–149
A Global Threat 259
Hans Lofgren (1953–2014)
Hans Lofgren, a member of the Editorial Board of this journal, unexpectedly passed away on 13 July
2014, while attending a conference in Chicago, United States. Hans was an Associate Professor in
the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia. He was
also the Associate Editor of the Australian Journal of Political Science, the quarterly journal of the
Australian Political Studies Association.
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Hans Vilhelm Martin Lofgren studied at the University of Gothenburg.
After marrying Rhonda Small, presently a Professor of Public Health at La Trobe University, he moved
to Australia. He obtained a PhD from the University of Melbourne, and started his teaching career at
University of Tasmania. Later in 2001, he moved to Deakin.
Hans’ core research focus was the political economy of health and pharmaceuticals, with a special
focus on Australia and India. He was particularly interested in how policy interventions in this field
impacted upon the most vulnerable sections in developing countries. He was acclaimed internationally
as an expert in the field of medicine policy. His publications include H. Lofgren and P. Sarangi (Eds),
The Politics and Culture of Globalisation: India and Australia (Social Science Press, 2009); H. Lofgren,
M. Leahy and E. de Leeuw (Eds), Democratizing Health: Consumer Groups in the Policy Process
(Edward Elgar, 2011); H. Lofgren (Ed.), The Political Economy of Pharmaceuticals and Access to
Medicines: World Pharmacy and India (Social Science Press, 2013); and H. Lofgren and O.D. Williams
(Eds), The New Political Economy of Pharmaceuticals: Production, Innovation and TRIPS in the
Global South (Palgrave Macmillan, 2013). In recent years, he developed a keen interest in the study of
Indian politics, especially the study of Left politics in West Bengal and Kerala.
He was deeply committed to democratizing health. His book, Democratizing Health, is a pioneering
contribution which, for the very first time, presents an internationally comparative analysis of develop-
ments in the area of contemporary health policy. In this, he pointed out the division in liberal demo-
cracies on the question of health between the individualists and collectivists. Democratization of health
for Hans meant loosening the dominance of medical and managerial groups so as to universalize access
to medical services, and particularly to ensure that excluded groups have their needs met.
Hans had extensively published on the dynamics of bio-pharma industry in different parts of the
world. He argued that the bio-economy was critically dependent on state intervention, and state support
for R&D constituted a core asset in the evolution of bio-industrial complexes. He took a favourable view
of Indian bio-pharma industries with large-scale manufacturing plants and growing R&D facilities that
are now major suppliers of generic drugs across both developed and developing countries. His book, The
Politics of the Pharmaceutical Industry and Access to Medicines: World Pharmacy and India, examines
Studies in Indian Politics
2(2) 259–260
© 2014 Lokniti, Centre for the
Study of Developing Societies
SAGE Publications
Los Angeles, London,
New Delhi, Singapore,
Washington DC
DOI: 10.1177/2321023014551890

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