Document Type

Undergraduate Syllabus


Fall 2021



Course Number

DIPL 4277 AA

Course Description

Global health issues have affected world history more extensively than most of us can imagine. As shown in the COVID-19 pandemic, international travel threatens transborder epidemics by transporting and spreading diseases globally at jet speed. The growing risk of exposure to infectious disease, coupled with the threat of intentional release of pathogens, creates a situation in which health and security are interacting with greater frequency and intensity. This development parallels efforts to redefine the concept of security to encompass new global challenges. This interdisciplinary course focuses on global health security by addressing the following questions: How did epidemics function as agents of historical change? What are the major linkages between health and security? Should new global health challenges such as non-communicable diseases be framed as problems that require response from the national security community? How does the "securitization of health” affect the governance of particular health problems? Conversely, how do the discussions and debates on health security transform our understanding of security?

This interdisciplinary course focuses on global health security. It has four main content objectives: 1) to examine the historical impact of infectious disease; 2) to clarify the processes by which health problems function to threaten national or international security; 3) to assess the security implications of emerging global health challenges; and 4) to explore the pros and cons of securitizing global health challenges. By the end of the semester, students should have acquired knowledge and understanding of key concepts, theories, and debates involved in the study of global health security. Students should have also developed the skills to conduct analysis of global health issues and effectively communicate the analysis to the policy and academic community.