• Offered by School of Regulation and Global Governance
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Research
  • Course subject RegNet
  • Areas of interest Public Health, Health
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person

The seminal work of the WHO Commission on the Social Determinants of Health demonstrated the impact that policy areas such as those governing trade and investment, intellectual property rights, human migration, and greenhouse gas emissions have on human health. While strong national health systems are critical for addressing population health and health inequity, the effects of and capacities to respond to a particular health threat often lie outside the control of any one state and outside the health sector. This course will introduce students to topics in the area of governance for health and health equity and provide them with critical theoretical perspectives from which to explore these issues. Drawing on research from multiple disciplines, including public policy, political economy, psychology, governance, law, and health, students will be exposed to the ideologies, institutions, and interests behind the current global governance for health architecture. Students will receive the opportunity to engage with concepts and applied debates and to examine and synthesise relevant issues through class discussion and course assignments.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate mastery of theoretical knowledge, historical approaches, and contemporary debates in the field of global governance for health
  2. Discuss and appraise theoretical propositions, methodologies, and conclusions regarding global governance and regulatory challenges related to public health
  3. Apply communication and technical research skills to illustrate and examine contemporary issues in global governance for health to specialist and non-specialist audiences
  4. Investigate, analyse, and synthesise complex information, problems, concepts, and theories in the field of global governance for health

Indicative Assessment

  1. In-class participation and electronic submission of two questions for each session a day prior to class (10%)
  2. Leading one in-class discussion based on selected readings on topics in global governance for health (10%)
  3. Commentary on a contemporary issue in global governance for health - 1000 words (20%)
  4. Research and writing plan and outline for major essay - 1000 words (20%)
  5. Major essay, identifying a threat to public health, examining relevant global governance challenges, and assessing possibilities for institutional reform - 3000 words (40%)

In response to COVID-19: Please note that Semester 2 Class Summary information (available under the classes tab) is as up to date as possible. Changes to Class Summaries not captured by this publication will be available to enrolled students via Wattle. 

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


This course will require 30 contact hours and 130 hours workload in total.

Preliminary Reading

Marmot, M., Friel, S., Bell, R., Houweling, T. A., Taylor, S., & Commission on Social Determinants of Health. (2008). Closing the gap in a generation: health equity through action on the social determinants of health. The Lancet, 372(9650), 1661-1669.

OPTIONAL: Stuckler, D., & Basu, S. (2013). Preface. The Body Economic: Why austerity kills. Toronto, Ontario: HarperCollins Publishers Ltd.

Baum, F. and Anaf. JM. “Transnational Corporations and Health: A Research Agenda,” International Journal of Health Services (2015) 45(2):1-10.

Belluz, J. and Hoffman, S. (September 30, 2014). The Ebola outbreak’s real cause: letting industry drive the research agenda. (Available at: http://www.vox.com/2014/8/4/5963751/the-real-cause-of-the-ebola-outbreak-its-not-what-you-think)

Dollar, D. (2001) Is globalization good for your health? Bulletin of the World Health Organization 79(9):827-33.

Engel, S. (2014). The not-so-great aid debate, Third World Quarterly 35(8), 2014: 1374-89.

Fidler D. “Architecture Amidst Anarchy: Global Health’s Quest for Governance,” Global Health Governance 1(1).

Frenk J, Gómez-Dantés O, Moon S. (2014). From sovereignty to solidarity: a renewed concept of global health for an era of complex interdependence. The Lancet 383 (9911): 94-97.

Frenk J and Moon S. (2013). Governance Challenges in Global Health. The New England Journal of Medicine, 368:10.

Freudenberg, N. “How corporate America exports disease to the rest of the world,” Salon (2014) (Available at: http://www.salon.com/2014/03/02/how_corporate_america_exports_disease_to_the_rest_of_the_world/)

Friel, S. (2017). Governance, regulation and health equity. In Regulatory Theory: Foundations and Applications. Drahos, P. (ed). ANU Press, The Australian National University, Canberra, Australia. pp 573-590.

Graham J, Amos B, Plumptre T. (2003). Principles for good governance in the 21st century. Policy Brief No.15. Institute on Governance, Ottawa, Canada.

Hopkins, L., Labonté, R., Runnels, V. and Packer, C. (2010) Medical tourism today: what’s the state of existing knowledge? Journal of Public Health Policy 31:185-98.

Kamradt-Scott A and Lee K. (2011) “The 2011 Pandemic Influenza Preparedness Framework: Global Health Secured or a Missed Opportunity?” Political Studies 59: 831-47.

Labonté, R., Sanger, M. A Glossary of The World Trade Organization and Public Health:  Part 1 and Part 2. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health (2006) 60:655-661 and 61:738-44.

Labonté, R. and Stuckler, D., (2015) “The rise of neoliberalism: How bad economics imperils health and what to do about it,” Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health

Lee, K, Sridhar D, Patel M. (2009) Bridging the divide: global governance of trade and health. The Lancet. 373 (9661): 416-422.

Moodie, R., Stuckler, D., Monteiro, C., Sheron, N., Neal, B., Thamarangsi, T., Lincoln, P., and Casswell, S. (2013). Profits and pandemics: prevention of harmful effects of tobacco, alcohol, and ultra-processed food and drink industries. The Lancet, 381(9867), 670-679.

Parker, R. (2002). The global HIV/AIDS pandemic, structural inequalities, and the politics of international health. American Journal of Public Health, 92(3), 343-346.

Shiffman, J. (2006). Donor Funding Priorities for Communicable Disease Control in the Developing World. Health Policy and Planning, 21(6), 411.

Szlezak NA, Bloom BR, Jamison DT, Keusch GT, Michaud CM, Moon S & Clark WC. (2010). The Global Health System: Actors, Norms, and Expectations in Transition. PLoS Med. 7(1), e1000183.

The Lancet-University of Oslo Commission on Global Governance for Health (2014) The political origins of health inequity: prospects for change. The Lancet 383 (9917): 630-667.

Weiss TG (2000). Governance, Good Governance and Global Governance: Conceptual and Actual Challenges. Third World Quarterly, 21(5), 795-814.

Selections from:

PHM, Medact and GEGA (editors) Global Health Watch 4: 2015-2016, An Alternative World Health Report.  London: Zed Books, 2012 (Available online at: http://www.ghwatch.org/)   

Adams, B. and Martens, J. Fit for Purpose? Private funding and corporate influence in the United Nations. (2015) New York: Global Policy Forum. Chapters 1-3 and 7. (Available at: https://www.globalpolicy.org/images/pdfs/images/pdfs/Fit_for_whose_purpose_online.pdf)


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Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $4320
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2020 $5760
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

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