221.614.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 2nd Term | 2 Credit(s)
F 1:30:00 PM
  • Contact Information
    Gilbert Burnham
  • Course Learning Objectives

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

    • define a collapsed state and list the signs of impending state weakness
    • Discuss the limitations of fragile states and be able to set out the ways health systems must adapt to function in these circumstances
    • list the ways political trends affect disease patterns and development programs
  • Course Description
    Provides a basic understanding of structures of authority and power; economics and political systems; role and limits of international organizations in development; current concepts of development and the political process; state collapse; and the origins of conflicts. Focus is on developing countries. Compares regional political trends and forces in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the former Soviet bloc that affect health of populations and development of health services.

    Additional Faculty Notes:
    This course is an introduction for Public Health students to International Political Science. Aspects of political science which have the greatest impact on development and health of populations, particularly in developing countries, will be stressed

  • Intended Audience
    Graduate students in public health at master’s and doctoral level. It is particularly aimed at students interested in international health, development, and humanitarian assistance issues.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

    Graduate students in public health at masters and doctoral level. It is particularly aimed at students interested in international health, development, and humanitarian assistance issues.

  • Methods of Assessment
    Student evaluation based on class participation.

    Additional Faculty Notes:

     Students will be assessed in 3 ways:

     1. Class participation (20%);  2. A 3-5 page policy memo (30%); 3. A 7-10 page take-home essay (50%)

  • Required Text(s)

    Additional Faculty Notes:
    The readings will be availabe from the on-line library or from the web (URLs will be provided)

  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Welcome Message
    Dear Students, Welcome to Political Science for Public Health Practitioners. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to political issues and how these effect health of populations worldwide. This course will cover many of the fundamentals of politics, such as what is a state and why to states fail, the nature of conflicts, international organizations and their roles, health and gender in a global context, social policy, poverty alleviation, and the role of the United States in international Affairs. This course will help put public health activities in the broad context of how the world and its organizations function.
  • Course topics

    Week 1. Themes in Political Analysis: The State;   Week 2. International Development: Theory and Practice;   Week 3. Conflict - Causes, Cures and Prevention;   Week 4.  International Aid;   Week 5. Women and Children in International Politics;   Week 6. The Environment and Sustainable Development;   Week 7. The Grassroots - NGOs and Civil Society;  Week 8. Looking Forward - New Directions, Alternative Solutions. 

  • Contact Information(from old syllabus)

    Elizabeth Mensah
    Office: E8130 F 12:15-1:15

    Elizabeth Mensah, PhD
    Office: E8130 F 12:15-1:15

    M Francesca Monn
    Office: Daily Grind Thursdays 9-10am

  • Course Objectives(from old syllabus)

    The course aims to expose students to some of the major conceptual and salient issues in understating international political systems. The goal is to provide a working knowledge of the broader political contexts that shape decisions bearing on health issues. The course is divided into 8 sessions, each covering a separate, but not exclusive topic. Class time will be divided between lectures and discussions, with more emphasis on the latter. I will assume that students have done the required readings for each class and will come prepared to discuss them. Some of the readings are accessible online.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at