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Robert Huish

Associate Professor

Department of International Development Studies

Email: huish@dal.ca
Phone: 902-494-2979
Twitter: @ProfessorHuish
Mailing Address: 
Department of International Development Studies
Marion McCain Building
6135 University Ave.
Dalhousie University
PO Box 15000
Halifax, NS, Canada
B3H 4R2

Office location:
101-1376 LeMarchant St.
Research Topics:
  • Global health
  • Activism and resistance
  • North Korean Human Rights
  • Sport and Development


  • B.A. (Hons.) Queen’s University

  • M.A.  Queen’s University

  • Ph.D.   Simon Fraser University

Research Interests

My research explores ways in which social activism can lead to comprehensive development outcomes.  I focus on global health inequity, and the role of activism in bringing about improved provision of health care in resource-poor settings. Beyond community-based health advocacy I examine how medical education acts as a determinant of global health inequity, particularly with regards to Cuban Medical Internationalism.  It is well known that while many diseases favour the poor, the ability to treat, and to prevent, illness tends to favour the affluent.  The methods and practices we use in International Development Studies builds understanding as to why more is not done for the health of the poor, and how we can work towards better health for all.

I also pursue research about the pedagogies of activism and the organization of social resistance.  In particular I am currently researching the impacts of North Korean defector activists in raising political awareness, assisting compatriots, and directly impacting the regime.

I also explore the role of sport for development, with special attention to Cuba, and how this facilitates comprehensive development as well as organized forms of resistance.

At the moment I am currently working on the following projects:
• Cuba’s Sport Internationalism and South-South solidarity  

• The Place of Activism in the Future of the University
• Global Health Ethics
• Human Rights Activism in North Korea

I welcome contact from colleagues, graduate students, and media who are interested in these areas.

Teaching Interests

(global health; activism & resistance; experiential learning)

My teaching interests include topics on global health, poverty and human rights, structural impacts of neoliberal globalization, and methods of activism. 
 All the courses that I currently teach include an activist component that affords students the chance to passionately engage with issues of inequity and social justice.   Activism is not a mere accident of dissent that spills out on to the streets. Rather, it is a skill that can be mastered through careful study to promote grassroots democracy that can lead to broad social change. 
 As Howard Zinn put it, “change does not come as one cataclysmic moment but as an endless succession of surprises…Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world.”

For more on this approach, check out this interview with Ana Maria Teremonti on CBC’s The Current, 
as well as the Globe and Mail’s Our Time To Lead Series


Huish, Robert. (2013) “Where no doctor has gone before: Cuba’s place in the global health landscape.”  Waterloo: Wilfrid Laurier University Press.

Tiessen, Rebecca, & Robert Huish, (eds). (2014). Globetrotting or Global Citizenship? Perils and potential of international experiential learning. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.

Refereed Journal Articles and Book Chapters

Huish, Robert. (2016). “Health and Development,” in Richardson, Douglas, et al., The International Encyclopedia of Geography: People, the Earth, Environment and Technology. New York: Wiley-Blackwell.

Huish, Robert (2016). Answering the Call: How Cuban Solidarity is changing geographies of health and health care in West Africa.  Human Geography.

Darnell, Simon & Robert Huish. (2015). Cuban Sport Policy and South – South Cooperation: An Exploration of the Escuela Internacional de Educación Física y Deporte. International Journal of Sport Policy and Politics. 7(1), 123 – 140.

Darnell, Simon & Robert Huish (2015). “Cuban Sport and the Challenges of South – South Solidarity,” for Hayhurst, L. and Kay, T. (eds) Beyond Sport for Development: Transnational Perspectives on Theory, Policy and Practice. London: Routledge.

Huish, Robert. (2015). “Wanting to Care: A Comparison of the ethics of health worker migration in Cuba and the Philippines,” in Luginaah, Isaac, Bezner Kerr, Rachael (eds.) Geographies of Development and Health. London: Ashgate.

Huish, Robert. (2014). Why Does Cuba 'Care' So Much? Understanding the Epistemology of Solidarity in Global Health Outreach. Public Health Ethics;
7(3), 261 – 276.

Huish, Robert, & Simon Darnell. (2014). “Cuban Sport Development: Building Capacity from el Parque to the Podium,”  in Brenner, Philip, Marguerite Rose Jiménez, John M. Kirk, & William Leogrande, (eds). A Contemporary Cuban Reader – 2nd Edition. New York: Rowman and Littlefield. 367 – 372.

Huish, Robert (2014). The Heart of the Matter: The Impacts of Cuban Medical Internationalism in the global South. Cuba in a Global Context: International Relations, Internationalism, and Transnationalism. Cathie Krull (ed.) Gainsville: University Press of Florida. 176 – 191.

Huish, Robert (2013). “Dissent 101: Teaching the ‘dangerous knowledge’ of practices of activism.” Canadian Journal of International Development Studies. 34(2). 364- 383.

Huish, Robert, Thomas Carter & Simon Darnell, (2013). The (Soft) Power of Sport: The Comprehensive and Contradictory Strategies of Cuba’s Sport-Based Internationalism.  International Journal of Cuban Studies. 5(1), 26 – 41.

Huish, Robert (2012). “The Ethical Conundrum of International Health Electives in Medical Education.” Journal of Global Citizenship & Equity Education. 2(1).  1-19.

Huish, Robert, Simon Darnell (2012). “Solidarity, counter-hegemony and development: Exploring Cuba’s sport-based internationalism. Canadian Journal of Latin American and Caribbean Studies. 36(71), 139 – 164.

Collins, Damian, Sébastien Flueret, Robert Huish, Anne Cécile Hoyez,  (2011). Regards croisés sur les geographies de la santé Anglophone et Francophone, in Santé de géographie. Paris: Press Economica-Anthropos.

Huish, Robert (2011). Punching Above its Weight: Cuba’s use of sport for South-South Solidarity. Third World Quarterly 32(3). 417 – 433.

Evert, Jessica, Robert Huish Gary Heit, Scott Loeliger, Evaleen Jones, Steve Schmidbauer (2011). Global Health Ethics. Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics. Judy Iles & Barbara Sahakian, (eds). The Oxford Handbook of Neuroethics. New York: Oxford University Press.

Huish, Robert and W. George Lovell (2010). Bajo los volcanes: La Influenca de Guatemala en José Martí. Mesoamérica. 52. 87 – 110.

Spiegel, Jerry and Robert Huish (2009). Canadian Foreign Aid for Global Health: Human Security Opportunity Lost. Canadian Foreign Policy. 15(3) 60 – 84.

Huish, Robert and John M. Kirk (2009). Cuban Medical Internationalism in Africa: The Threat of a Dangerous Example. The Latin Americanist. 53(3) 125  - 139.

Huish, Robert (2009). How Cuba’s Latin American School of Medicine challenges the Ethics of Physician Migration. Social Science & Medicine. 69(3) 301 – 304.

Parkes Margot, Spiegel Jerry, Breilh Jaime, Cabarcas Fabio, Huish Robert, Yassi Annalee. (2009). Promoting the health of marginalized populations in Ecuador through international collaboration and educational innovations Bulletin of the World Health Organisation.  87(4), 312 – 319.

Huish, Robert. (2008). Human security and food security in geographic study: Knowledge translation, concepts and elusive theory.  Geography Compass. 2(5) 1386 – 1403.

Spiegel, Jerry, Robert Huish, Klaudia Dmitrienko, Andrea A. Cortinois (2008). Canadian and Australian Health Aid, in Hanssonm Emily et. al. (eds.) Global Health Watch 2. London: Zed Books. 317 – 333.

Huish, Robert (2008).  Going where no doctor has gone before:  The role of Cuba's Latin American School of Medicine in meeting the needs of some of the world's most vulnerable populations. Public Health. 122(6) 552- 557.  (WHO International Joint Special Issue, “Towards a Scaling-up of education for health workers.”)

Huish, Robert & Jerry Spiegel. (2008). Integrating health and human security into foreign policy: Cuba’s surprising success. International Journal of Cuban Studies. 1(1) 1 – 13.

Huish, Robert and John M. Kirk (2007). Cuban Medical Internationalism: the development of the Latin American School of Medicine and human-resource-based healthcare provision. Latin American Perspectives. 34(6) 77 - 92.

Current Courses 2016-2017

INTD 2002: Introduction to Development Studies II
INTD 3115: Global Health in the 21st Century
INTD 4011: Conspiracy, Corruption & Dissent: The Real Workings of Development
INTD 3310: Cuban Intensive Class