STIA-445 Politics of International Health
Fall for 2007-2008
This class will explore the politics of international health. The world is becoming increasingly inter-related; trade relationships are becoming stronger and more intertwined, and travel between nations is fast and easy. The international movement of people and goods across national borders makes the emergence or re-emergence of infectious disease in one country of great importance to its region and the world community. Yet, traditional conceptions of state sovereignty can limit the ability of international organizations and foreign states to intervene.
Health threats can destabilize countries internally (for example, Stephen Lewis, the UN Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, has stated that he “wouldn’t discount the possibility, ten to fifteen years down the road, of failed states” as a result of HIV/AIDS) and can strain international relations. States often have powerful political and economic incentives to hide emerging diseases or downplay their importance. On the other hand, providing international assistance for public health disasters can strengthen international institutions and diplomatic relationships, increase stability, and save lives. This class examines international and national structures, relationships, and mechanisms that influence global health.
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