Political Economy of Global Health

What are the forces that shape the way we formulate policies on health in a globalising world?

Why are global health programs for Polio and DOTS (Directly Observed Treatment) prioritised over sanitation or better housing? How did the World Bank come to be the leading player in health instead of the World Health Organisation? Why do micronutrients and fortification of foods take priority over simple redistribution of food grains by improved Public Distribution schemes? Why do countries sign TRIPS at the cost of access to medicines? 

These questions serve as an entry point for this course. In a world where trade trumps policy decisions, the realm of health is being shaped by globalised forces. The framework of the Alma Ata declaration stands challenged. This course helps you interrogate the implications of the emergence of a global health architecture including public-private partnerships and appreciate civil society engagement in health governance and how the modern state and its ability to shape health policy is being transformed. 

You will study emerging networks of global actors (such as Gavi Alliance, Global Funds for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria) in policy making and how this impacts policies at national and sub-national levels. We look at civil society alliances like Global People’s Health Movement, Occupy Wall Street and other related movements that have sought to offer a counter narrative to the commercial and technocratic ideologies.