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Politics of Health Policy


East Baltimore
4th term
Health Policy and Management
4 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Friday,  8:00 - 11:50am
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Mary Sewell

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. Analyzes 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:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 45% Group Presentation
  • 20% An individual three-page position paper on one of the topics addressed in the debate and discussion forum
  • 35% Participation in debates/discussions

Enrollment Restriction:

undergraduates not permitted

Instructor Consent:

No consent required