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Dr João Nunes
Senior Lecturer in International Relations



João Nunes joined the Department in September 2014. Previously, he was a Research Fellow at the University of Warwick. He received his PhD and MSc from Aberystwyth University, and his first degree from the New University of Lisbon. He has held visiting positions at the Gothenburg Centre for Globalization and Development and the University of São Paulo.

João is the Co-Director of the University of York’s Centre for Global Health Histories, a WHO Collaborating Centre.

His research on global health and Brazil’s health system has been featured in the University of York’s research pages and is also an impact case-study.

João’s latest book is entitled Security, Emancipation and the Politics of Health. His latest article, co-written with Gabriela Lotta from Fundação Getúlio Vargas in Brazil, is entitled Discretion, power and the reproduction of inequality in health policy implementation: Practices, discursive styles and classifications of Brazil's community health workers and was published in the journal Social Science & Medicine.

For further information on João’s publications, please see his Google Scholar profile

João currently serves as the Department’s Director of Graduate Research.



João’s areas of interest are:

  • The politics of health: neglected issues in global health; health security; global and community health; health as a political and cultural phenomenon; health social movements; history of medicine.
  • Security studies: security as emancipation; critical security studies.
  • Brazil: Brazilian health policy; Brazil's initiatives of South-South cooperation, particularly in the areas of health and food security. 


João has worked on the following research projects:

  • Principal Investigator: Women's social movements and the response to Zika and microcephaly in Brazil: Addressing neglect through community-centred approaches, funded by a British Council Newton Fund Institutional Links grant.
  • Principal Investigator: Developing the capacity and enhancing the public health impact of community health workers in Brazil, funded by the University of York’s ESRC Impact Accelerator Account.
  • Principal Investigator: Community Health Workers in Brazil and the Movement for Universal Health Coverage, funded by the Wellcome Trust.
  • Principal Investigator: Neglected Diseases: Addressing the Limits of the International Politics of Health, initially funded by The Leverhulme Trust.
  • UK Principal Investigator: Compulsory Licensing of Anti-retrovirals in Brazil: Lessons for Global Health Governance, funded by the British Academy Newton Fund.
  • Principal Investigator: Rethinking Emancipation in Critical Security Studies, funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).
  • Co-investigator: The Brazilian Discourse of Food Security and the Remaking of World Politics.





Other teaching

Doctoral Supervision

João is interested in supervising PhD Candidates in the fields of global and community health, critical security studies, international relations, food security and Brazil’s health policy. Politics PhD programme information.


Contact details

João Nunes
Department of Politics
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 322322

Feedback and Guidance hours, Online appointments (Summer term): Mondays 10:00-12:00