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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Postgraduate Course: Advocacy, Lobbying and Health Policy (SCPL11016)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a course about strategies and activities to influence policies impacting on health. It will introduce students to theories that help explain the role of interest group influence within policy, including social movement theories and literature focusing on the third sector as well as more traditional interest group, political and ideational theories. The course will also provide empirical examples of lobbying and advocacy for health related issues and will encourage students to link theoretical frameworks with empirical examples. It assumes no prior background in political science or social policy and will provide a basic introduction to key theories developed across these disciplines that concern policy change and the role of advocacy, lobbying and policy influence. The first part of the course (the first three sessions) will focus on introducing students to key concepts and relevant theories. The second part will then introduce students to some contemporary, empirical examples of advocacy and lobbying in health contexts (students will also be encouraged to draw on their own experiences to provide further empirical examples). This part of the course will encourage students to draw on the theoretical literature covered in the first part of the course to examine the efforts of various actors to influence policy outcomes, considering the rationale for various actors┐ involvement in policy debates, the tactics and arguments employed by different actors and any evidence relating to outcomes/impacts of these activities.
Course description Course Content:
1. Health Advocacy, Lobbying and Policy Influence ┐ An Introduction
2. Civil Society and Social Movement Theories
3. Advocacy, Lobbying & Policy Influence in Health Care
4. Advocacy and Lobbying in non-communicable diseases: Tobacco and Alcohol
5. Advocacy, Lobbying and Policy Influence in communicable diseases: Malaria and HIV/AIDS
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Summary of intended learning outcomes:
The course seeks to enable students to:
- examine the roles of advocacy and lobbying in health policy and to think critically about them
- understand key theories of policy change and the potential role of advocacy and lobbying within these various theoretical frameworks
- situate analysis of advocacy and lobbying within social movement theories and the growing literature concerning the third sector and civil society
- critically assess of the complex relationships between evidence, ideas, advocacy, lobbying, policy and practice in health settings
- apply theoretical accounts of advocacy, lobbying and policy change to empirical examples of health policy debates
Reading List
Chapman, S. (2007) Public Health Advocacy and Tobacco Control. Oxford: Blackwell.
Baum, F. (2007). "Cracking the nut of health equity: top down and bottom up pressure for action on the social determinants of health." Promotion & Education 14(2): 90-95.
Baumgartner, F. and Leech, B. (1998). Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and in Political Science. Princeton, NJ, Princeton University Press.
Blas, E., Gilson, L., et al. (2008). "Addressing social determinants of health inequities: what can the state and civil society do?" The Lancet 372(9650): 1684-1689.
Brown, P. and Zavestoski, S. (2004). "Social movements in health: an introduction." Sociology of Health & Illness 26(6): 679-694.
Chapman, S. (2004). "Advocacy for public health: a primer." Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health 58(5): 361-365.
Doyle, C. and Patel, P. (2008). "Civil society organisations and global health initiatives: Problems of legitimacy." Social Science & Medicine 66(9): 1928-1938.
Nathanson, C. A. (1999). "Social Movements as Catalysts for Policy Change: The Case of Smoking and Guns." Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law 24(3): 421-488.
Rau, B. (2006). "The politics of civil society in confronting HIV/AIDS." International Affairs 82(2): 285-295.
Sabatier, P. A. and Jenkins-Smith, H. C. (1999). The Advocacy Coalition Framework: An Assessment. Theories of the Policy Process. P. A. Sabatier. Oxford, Westview Press: 117-166.
Saloojee, Y. and Dagli, E. (2000). "Tobacco industry tactics for resisting public policy on health." Bulletin of the World Health Organization 78: 902-910.
Smith, K.E. and Katikireddi, S.V. (in press) A Glossary of Theories for Understanding Policymaking and Policy Change. Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health.
Vernick, J. S. (1999). "Lobbying and advocacy for the public's health: what are the limits for nonprofit organizations?" American Journal of Public Health 89(9): 1425-1429.
Wallack, L. and Dorfman, L. (1996). "Media Advocacy: A Strategy for Advancing Policy and Promoting Health." Health Education & Behavior 23(3): 293-317.
Zoller, H. M. (2005). "Health Activism: Communication Theory and Action for Social Change." Communication Theory 15(4): 341-364.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Katherine Smith
Course secretaryMiss Jade Birkin
Tel: (0131 6)51 1659
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