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Course Catalog

300.652.98 Politics of Health Policy


Health Policy and Management
2nd term
4 credits
Academic Year:
2013 - 2014
Barcelona, Spain
Auditors Allowed:
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Judith Holzer
Course Instructors:
Frequency Schedule:
One Year Only

Analyzes the politics of health policy according to the dictum of one of the founders of public health, R. Virchow, “Public Health is a Social Science and Politics is Public Health in its most profound sense.” Focuses on the political reasons for the underdevelopment of health and health care in the U.S. and in the world. Looks at how economic, social, and political power are reproduced through political institutions, and the consequences on the level of health and type of health care that countries have. Critiques the role of national and international agencies such as the WTO, World Bank, IMF, and WHO in facilitating and/or hindering development of health. Also focuses on U.S. governmental policies that diminish or increase the maldistribution of power outside and within the health sector.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. identify the dynamics of political and economic forces on health
  2. analyze how power ---- namely class, race, and gender power --- is reproduced in society, nationally and internationally, and how power affects the health and well-being of populations,
  3. Discuss the causes of underdevelopment and the reasons for the growth in social inequalities, both worldwide and within nations.
Methods of Assessment:

Class participation and a final paper

Enrollment Restriction:

undergraduate students are not permitted in this section

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for all students

Consent Note:

Full-time JHU-BSPH students must obtain permission from Judy Holzer,, in the Department of Health Policy and Management prior to registering for this class.

For consent, contact: