PLCY 401: Politics of Pandemic and Outbreak Response

Publication Date: 
January 2018


Document Type: 

Responding to global health emergencies like the 2014 Ebola and 2016 Zika outbreaks requires coordinated international action that is often difficult to achieve. Because such outbreaks have become increasingly common, this course examines the complex policy challenges that local, national, and global actors have faced in responding to major disease outbreaks like bubonic plague, smallpox, polio, HIV/AIDS, SARS, avian influenza, H1N1, Ebola, and Zika. How have states, international organizations, and private actors responded to major outbreaks over time? How should they respond? When and why do these actors cooperate or compete with one another? The course will draw on a variety of materials to answer these and other questions to better understand the political dynamics of global health emergencies. Students may have the chance to visit the Pan American Health Organization and will also build research skills by examining archival documents from the World Health Organization and working with datasets on governments’ responses to recent outbreaks.