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Global Health Security


Units: 3


Saturday, Feb 27 and Sat, March 6, 2021

This “micro-mini” course serves as an introduction to global health security and its intricate links to international relations and international development. As societies and economies are increasingly interconnected and thus interdependent, new forms of health security threats are arising, and nations are investing more in mutual preparedness and are conducting new forms of “soft power” diplomacy to mitigate those risks.  

In recent years, the realm of health security has expanded greatly with more governments, companies, and NGOs working to address both nascent and persistent threats.  Over an immersive weekend of overview and interaction, this micro-mini highlights prominent threat categories, namely the “3-D threats” of Disaster, Disease, and Disorder, with complex humanitarian crises showcasing the latter threat.  To illustrate factors at work, time will be devoted to “deep dives” using case studies and readings on prominent events.  

This seminar-style course will serve as an active “policy laboratory” in which your ideas are solicited and further shaped with the participation of the class cohort.  Practical frameworks will be employed to simplify the dynamics within complex situations, and to organize your thinking about actions and options. An overnight diagramming activity assessing a humanitarian crisis between the first and second day activates analytical skills regarding causative determinants, strategic goals, and implementation of action plans.  

The course welcomes all learners from a wide range of knowledge, from the novice to the experienced.  The course relies on active participation that feeds a mutual learning environment and that catalyzes and reveals students’ ideas as they occur, thereby fostering an at-the-ready style of nimble thinking and conversing.  Alongside participation and the diagramming exercise, a pre-class, warm-up analytical exercise and a policy memorandum proposing a campaign of health security action are the chief assessable products of the course.