Photo of Ben Kasstan

Dr Ben Kasstan

BA, MSc, PhD

  • BS8 1RJ

20152020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research interests

Ben is a medical anthropologist and Vice Chancellor's Fellow based in the Centre for Health, Law & Society and the Law School. Ben's research explores the points where health, religion and state meet, and focuses on issues surrounding sexuality, reproductive and child health. Since 2019 Ben has served as an Associate Editor at Anthropology & Medicine Journal.

His publications explore issues such as abortion care and advocacy, maternity care, contraception, childhood vaccinations, public health relations with minority groups, and global health interventions (malaria).Having a dynamic background in global and public health has enabled Ben to conduct fieldwork in England, Ireland, Israel, Lesotho, Nigeria and The Gambia. 

As a Vice Chancellor's Fellow at Bristol, Ben will be examining claims that there is a clash between the rights afforded to religious and sexual minority groups. This issue has become increasingly apparent amidst proposed changes to the teaching of sexual and relationships education (RSE), and Ben will be exploring how new requirements around RSE will be navigated among religious minority groups in Britain.

Previously Ben held appointments at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (2019-20) where he was critiquing claims of 'religious opposition' to vaccination amidst international measles outbreaks, and the University of Sussex (2017-19) where he worked as part of an interdisciplinary project on son preference leading to sex-selective abortion. Ben's PhD was funded by the Wellcome Trust (2013-2016) and completed at Durham's Department of Anthropology. The research explored healthcare as a unique borderland where religious minorities and the UK state negotiate each other's positions, with areas of biomedicine raising concerns around integration, assimilation and self-protection for Haredi Jews. The book was recently published by Berghahn Books as an open access monograph, Making Bodies Kosher

Ben is committed to using research evidence to inform public debates, policy and advocacy. He has recently discussed issues around COVID-19 in Ha'aretz and the BBC World Service, and abortion legislation in Newsweek. He has submitted research evidence to the Women & Equalities Committee, APPG on Vaccinations for All, APPG on Population, Development & Reproductive Health, APPG on Sexual & Reproductive Health, and the APPG on Social Integration. 

External positions

Affiliate, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

1 Oct 202031 Oct 2021

Structured keywords and research groupings

  • LAW Centre for Health Law and Society

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