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"Intervention" is central to global health, but the significance and effects of how intervention is practiced are often taken for granted. This review takes interventions into health and medicine as subjects for ethnographic inquiry. We highlight three lines of anthropological contributions: studies of global health interventions that serve imperial and military objectives, studies of "magic bullet" interventions arising from laboratory science, and studies of interventions based on deterministic modeling techniques. We then outline examples of "intervention otherwise," in which people build relations of solidarity and care through global health programming, design interventions to be interactive and adaptable, and use data and modeling to support health justice. Whereas many global health interventions reproduce Western power hierarchies, intervention otherwise draws attention to alternative forms of knowledge, action, and expertise. Our analysis of lively and multivalent practices of intervention has implications for debates about the im/possibility of decolonizing global health.

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