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

Postgraduate Course: Infectious Disease and Global Governance (SCPL11020)

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 Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryEmerging and re-emerging infectious diseases have been a matter of increased global public health focus. While biomedical explanations are important, the experience and management of infectious disease is fundamentally bound in social, political, cultural and economic structures. This course focuses upon the way in which social scientific approaches can be harnessed to understand and evaluate the context which surrounds infectious disease governance. The course introduces students to key social scientific concepts in understanding infectious disease, and (particularly in seminar sessions) encourages students to consider how these can be applied in the formulation of effective policy.
Course description The course will explore how local, national and global-level factors interlink to determine the way in which infectious diseases are experienced and handled. It emphasises the impact of enduring inequalities at each of these levels in both determining who gets sick and how events are managed. The first part of the course (weeks 1 to 3) will focus upon local-level factors such as cultural practices and social distinctions. The second part of the course (weeks 4 to 6) will examine disease management and the role of the nation-state. Issues to be discussed include the politics of border control and disease surveillance, and the linking of infectious disease with concepts of national security. The final part of the course (weeks 7 to 10) broadens the analytical gaze to the level of the global, critically examining the way in which infectious diseases are framed as a problem for global action. This will include the interrogation of concepts of globalised risk, the co-ordination of various global actors, and analysing the way in which infectious diseases are linked to ideas of sustainable global well-being and economic development. Through this, students will gain an appreciation of the complex interplay of social, political, economic and cultural factors that underpin infectious diseases in global health.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  80
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 25, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 171 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 1. Annotated bibliography: Students submit a critical evaluation of selected academic and policy sources relevant to the production of their final essay. This task encourages students to evaluate the aims, strengths, limitations and usefulness of source materials. Total of 1000 words. (25%)«br /»
2. Essay of 3000 words (75%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues in infectious disease and global health
  2. Critically assess the relationship between infectious disease and socio-political structures at the local, national, and global levels
  3. Consider and critically analyse the role of key discourses, actors, structures and institutions that underpin the experience and management of infectious disease
  4. Understand and critically assess various social scientific conceptual and analytical tools in investigating infectious diseases
  5. Critically evaluate and synthesise academic and policy literatures around infectious disease governance
Reading List
Allen, T. and Parker, M. 2011. ¿The ¿Other Diseases¿ of the Millennium Development Goals: Rhetoric and reality of free drug distribution to cure the poor's parasites,¿ Third World Quarterly 32(1):91-117
¿ Briggs, C.L. and Nichter, M. 2012. ¿Biocommunicability and the biopolitics of pandemic threats,¿ Medical Anthropology 28(3):189-98
¿ Coker, R., Rushton, J., Mourier-Jack, S., Karimuribo, E., Lutumba, P, Kambarage, D., Pfeiffer, D., Stark, K., and Rweyemamu, M. 2011. ¿Towards a conceptual framework to support one-health research for policy on emerging zoonoses,¿ Lancet Infectious Diseases 11(4):326-331
¿ Dingwall, R., Hoffman, L., and Staniland, K. 2013. Pandemics and Emerging Diseases: A Sociological Agenda, Chichester: Wiley Publications
¿ Eichelburger, L. 2007. ¿SARS and New York's Chinatown: The politics of risk and blame during an epidemic of fear,¿ Social Science and Medicine 65(5):1284-95
¿ Fidler, D.P. and Gostin, L.O. 2003. ¿Biosecurity and Public Heath,¿ in: Biosecurity in the Global Age, Stanford: Stanford University Press, pp 121-187

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Sudeepa Abeysinghe
Tel: (0131 6)51 5471
Course secretaryMiss Kate Ferguson
Tel: (0131 6)51 5122
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