Kristen's research interests include, health, illness and medicine; sociology of the body; global health; international relations; sociology of medicine; health care policy; knowledge construction, mobilization, and transfer; governmentality; and political economy. She is interested in how knowledge is constructed, and what is considered "truth" in health and medicine. Kristen is also interested in how knowledge and truth is used in governing rationalities such as neoliberalism.
Kristen's doctoral dissertation is focusing on how the World Health Organization takes on the idea of global public health through a test case of noncommunicable diseases (NCDs, includes cancer, and diabetes, and tobacco and obesity for example). Kristen's dissertation is investigating first, how disources are used for the governance strategy of the WHO, second, how the WHO tries discursviely to internationalize (standardize the international response and policies) the response to NCDs through analyzing selected WHO documents, and third, the WHO's influence on national policies on NCDs in selected countries from the Global North, including Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. Focusing on these three aspects of the WHO will further our assessment of discrepancies between health knowledge and health care policies and how discourses can be used to mobilize models of governance that may or may not be considered effective.