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Pordié Laurent

Anthropologist and Pharmacologist, Senior Researcher, CNRS

Contact: laurent.pordie(at)ehess.fr



Laurent Pordié is a specialist in the social study of science and medicine. He was the Director of the Department of Social Sciences at the French Institute of Pondicherry and a Research Leader at the University of Heidelberg. He also held visiting positions at the universities of Chicago, San Francisco/Berkeley and New Delhi (JNU). He is now a permanent Senior Researcher with the National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the CERMES3 (CNRS/EHESS/Inserm). Laurent teaches at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales in Paris.


Laurent’s first engagement with research began by a doctorate in pharmaceutical sciences, followed by studies in ethnopharmacology in Cambodia. He then undertook a curriculum in anthropology to broaden the scope of his work and completed a PhD dissertation on the social dynamics of medicine in the Himalayas.

Located in India and Cambodia, his work examines the globalization of Asian medicines and the correlated emergence of a new generation of practitioners. Laurent became particularly interested in the dynamics of global asymmetries as transformative agents in healthcare, on the one hand, in the case of transnational health, and on the other, in the shifting sites of therapeutic innovation as shown by contemporary Ayurvedic pharmacy and the wellness industry.

His most recent research adds an ontological twist to this by studying what makes possible for a pharmaceutical object to come into being. Laurent is interested in the advent of science and technology in the industrial production of herbal medicines (India); in the changes in values, meanings, agency and therapeutic power induced by the global circulation of pharmaceuticals; and in distribution networks, pharmaceutical regulation and heterodox practices of diagnosis and drug combination (Cambodia).

Laurent is the "Social Studies in Asian Medicine" series editor with Amsterdam University Press. He is also Associate Editor for the journals East Asian Science Technology and Society (Duke University Press) and Asian Medicine (Brill).

Books and special issues

 COUV MUP PORDIE circul and governance Beaudevin Pordie Medical Anthropology Pordie-Gaudilliere cover

Pordie CoverAM Pordie EHESS 2013 Pordie EJOTS 2013

Pordie Routledge 2008 Pordie RAC 2011 Pordie IndianAnthropologist 2007 Pordie Karthala 2005 

Pordie IFP 2003 


° Circulation of Pharmaceuticals in South-East Asia: Trajectories, Objects, Multiplicities. Coordination.

° From International to Global: Knowledge, Diseases, and the Postwar Government of Health (GLOBHEALTH). Coordination of the axe "Traditional herbal therapeutic preparations: globalizing alternative industrial products".

° Social Studies of Herbal Pharmaceutical Industry in Asia (PharmAsia Network). Coordination.

Selected publications

In press

Pordié, L.; Kloos, S. eds. (2021). Healing at the Periphery, Durham, NC: Duke University Press.

Meier zu Biesen, C. ; Pordié, L. ; Pourraz, J. ; Gaudillière, J.-P. (2021). Markets, medicines, and health globalization, in J.-P. Gaudillière, C. Lang and A. McDowell (eds.), The Health of Others, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

McDowell, A.; Ruault, L.; Fiorelli, O.; Pordié, L. (2021). Localization in the global, in J.-P. Gaudillière, C. Lang and A. McDowell (eds.), The Health of Others, New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press.

Out there

Pordié, L. (2021). Unstable Pharmaceutical Values. The Grey Political Economy of Drug Circulation in Cambodia, BioSocieties, online first.

Pordié, L. (2020). Aid, Diplomacy, Autocracy. Entering the Covid-19 crisis in Cambodia, Somatosphere, May.

Gaudillière, J.-P.; Beaudevin, C.; Gradmann, C.; Lovell, A.; Pordié, L., eds. (2020). Global Health and the New World Order. Historical and Anthropological Approaches to a Changing Regime of Governance, Manchester: Manchester University Press.

Pordié, L. (2020). Covid-19 et instrumentalisation politique au Cambodge, Carnet de l'EHESS, May.

Pordié, L. (2020). Governance, circulation, and pharmaceutical objects, in C. Coderey and L. Pordié (eds.). Circulation and Governance of Asian Medicine, London and New York: Routledge.

Quet, M.; Pordié, L.; Bochaton, A.; Chantavanich, S.; Kiatying-Angsulee, N.; Lamy, M.; Vungsiriphisal, P. (2018). Regulation Multiple. Pharmaceutical Trajectories and Modes of Control in the ASEAN, Science, Technology and Society 23(3): 1-19.

Pordié, L. (2016). How a Lifestyle Product became a Pharmaceutical Specialty, in L. Manderson, E. Cartwright and A. Hardon (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Medical Anthropology, London and New York: Routledge.

Pordié, L. (2016). The Vagaries of Therapeutic Globalization. Fame, Money and Social Relations in Tibetan Medicine, International Journal of Social Science Studies 4(2): 38-52.

Beaudevin, C.; Pordié, L. (2016). Diversion and Globalization in Biomedical Technologies, Medical Anthropology 35(1): 1-4.

Pordié, L. (2015). Hangover free! The social and material trajectories of PartySmart, Anthropology & Medicine 22(1): 34-48.

Pordié, L. (2014). Pervious drugs. Making the pharmaceutical object in techno-ayurveda, Asian Medicine  9(1-2): 49-76.

Pordié, L. ; Hardon, A. (2015). Drugs' stories and itineraries. On the making of Asian industrial medicines, Anthropology & Medicine 22(1): 1-6.

Pordié, L; Gaudillière, J.-P. (2014). Industrial Ayurveda. Drug discovery, reformulation and the market, Asian Medicine 9(1-2): 1-11.

Pordié, L. (2015). An anthropological equivoque. Researchers' engagement and knowledge production (Comment on "Coproducing efficacious medicines"), Current Anthropology 56(2): 198-199.

Pordié, L. (2015). Regional conflicts, collective identities and the neutrality of the clinical encounter: A note on tibetan Medicine in Ladakh, In C. Ramble & U. Roesler (eds.). Tibetan and Himalayan Healing. An Anthology for Anthony Aris, Katmandu: Vajra Publications.

Pordié, L. (2015). Genealogy and ambivalence of a therapeutic heterodoxy. Islam and Tibetan medicine in North-western India, Modern Asian Studies 49(6): 1772-1807.

Pordié, L.; Blaikie, C. (2014). Knowledge and skills in motion. Layers of Tibetan medical education in India, Culture, Medicine & Psychiatry 38(3): 340-368.

Pordié, L.; Gaudillière, J.-P. (2014). The reformulation regime in drug discovery. Revisiting polyherbals and property rights in the ayurvedic industry, East Asian Science, Technology and Society 8(1): 57-79.

Pordié, L. (2013). Spaces of connectivity, shifting temporality. Enquiries in transnational health, European Journal of Transnational Studies 5(1): 6-26.

Pordié, L.; Simon, E. (2013). Les nouveaux guérisseurs. Biographies de thérapeutes au temps de la globalisation, Paris: Editions de l'EHESS.

Pordié, L. (2012). Sortir de l’impasse épistémologique. Nouveaux médicaments et savoirs traditionnels, Sciences Sociales et Santé 30(2): 93-103.

Pordié, L. (2012). Branding Indian Aromatherapy. Differentiation through transnational networks, in Volker Scheid and Hugh MacPherson (eds.), Integrating East Asian Medicine into Contemporary Heathcare, London: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier.

Pordié, L. (2011). Se démarquer dans l’industrie du bien-être. Transnationalisme, innovation et indianité, Anthropologie & Santé 3 [En ligne].

Pordié, L. (2011). Accentuations et pragmatismes. Le savoir médical tibétain à destination des étrangers, Revue d’Anthropologie des Connaissances 5(1): 99-130.

Pordié, L. (2010). The politics of therapeutic evaluation in Asian medicine, Economic & Political Weekly XLV(18): 57-64.

 Download the papers from Academia.edu.