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Global politics of health
Graduate Program (& Advanced Certificate) Status
Course Description

In the landscape of International Relations, the study of global security has evolved into a complex and multifaceted domain. Traditionally focused on war and militarized conflicts, the field now grapples with polymorphous, heterogeneous, and 'hybrid' security threats. Notably, issues of 'biopolitical' security, particularly those stemming from health-related crises, have taken center stage.

As we navigate the 21st century, global health emerges as a paramount security concern, intricately linked to the processes of globalization following the Cold War. The heightened interconnectivity of nations, the apparent dissolution of borders, and the surge in product trade and human travel elevate the risk of a global pandemic. Simultaneously, the specter of 'bioterrorist threats' looms large in national security discourses post-9/11. These developments intricately weave together global health and (inter-)national security.

Learning Outcomes
  • First, conceptually: developing a theoretically grounded understanding of global health security as a central field of IR debates.
  • Second, empirically and politically: a critical understanding of global health security as an arena of power struggles and contestations over issues of 'global' security, as well as related questions of sovereignty, international responsibilities and interdependencies
  • Third, methodologically and conceptually: developing an approach to advance individual academic interest in IR through the development of a research concept and own research on a specific topic that builds on and pursues the questions raised in the literature
  • Active participation (10%)

The learning objectives of the course are achieved in a discursive interactive format, which requires active participation of the students in (and between) the units. Participation in the debates is essentially text-driven, which requires thorough study of the required reading. Therefore, students are encouraged to actively study all of the literature – A quick reading of the texts is not enough!

 Mid-term written assignment (30%).

Reflection paper on a predefined question, provided by the lectures, and guided by the theoretical literatures (3-4 pages/ 1,000-1,200 words). . 

  • Term paper (60%)

Students will be writing a final term paper on a subject related to the course of roughly 2,500 words to be submitted after the end of the semester (if term paper is done in pairs the word count increases roughly by 1,500). The task is to formulate an overarching research question and draw on a minimum of three readings from the course to discuss/answer it. The inclusion of additional material is encouraged. This prepares students for the formulation of independent research questions and implementation in their theses as well as in their own research projects later in their studies. Input on ‘how-to’ will be given in the mid-term and students will be supported in formulating the overarching question. Feedback will be given via moodle with the grading. 

Course Level
Academic Year
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