This course conceptualises global health as the health of world’s population, with a focus on the dense relationships of interdependence across nations and sectors that have arisen with globalisation. Public health challenges – for example, Ebola, HIV/AIDS, obesity, diabetes, neglected diseases, tobacco use, environmental degradation, unaffordable medicine prices and understaffed health systems – increasingly shape and are shaped by the political, economic and social aspects of globalisation. Outbreaks of new infectious disease, such as MERS or pandemic flu, can wreak immediate economic havoc on a regional or global scale. Neglected diseases, such as sleeping sickness or mycetoma, continue to cause immense suffering and impede human development. Meanwhile, international rules that fall outside the traditional health sphere – such as those governing intellectual property, agriculture, human migration and greenhouse gas emissions – can have profound impacts on human health. The effects of, and capacities to respond to, a particular health threat often lie outside the control of any one nation state and require effective international cooperation.
How suitable are existing global governance arrangements for responding to 21st century global health challenges? Where are the major governance gaps and why do they persist? Who has power in the system, and which tools have succeeded or failed to “govern” trans-border health threats? Students will gain an understanding of the current functioning of the global system and its shortcomings, and exposure to new approaches to addressing global public health challenges. Teaching methods in this intensive one-week session will include lectures, case studies, analytic writing, teamwork, and class discussion and debate.