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Imperial College London

Globalisation and health governance

Imperial College London via Coursera


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Globalisation and health governance is the first instalment of the wider Global Health Challenges and Governance specialisation from Imperial College London's Global Master of Public Health (GMPH). The scope and content of this course has been developed from the ground up by a combined team of academics and practitioners drawing on a wealth of real-world public health experience as well as deep academic knowledge. Through short video lectures, readings and a wide range of interactive activities, learners will be immersed in the world of global health. Designed for those new to the discipline, over four modules (intended for one week of learning each), learners will become familiar with the scope, history, principles, stakeholders and conceptual frameworks of global health, globalisation and governance. But there is also important foundational content for those coming from more experienced backgrounds, as the course builds upon a strong tradition of advocacy in public health and broad perspective of the global health context by exploring institutional, economic, socio-cultural and ecological determinants of population health. By the end of the course, learners will be able to confidently describe how globalisation impacts health and health governance at local, national and multilateral levels, and craft well-reasoned, evidence-based arguments about global health challenges. The subsequent courses require the knowledge from this course, as learners will take a deep dive into migration health and climate change by applying their foundational global health knowledge and advocacy skills to these important global health challenges.


  • Welcome to Global Health Challenges and Governance
  • Introduction to Global Health, Globalisation and Global Health Governance
    • This module introduces you to the scope, origins and definitions of the key concepts of global health, globalisation and global health governance. The module begins by reviewing different definitions of global health, and how global health is distinguished from the related fields of public health and international health. We also begin to explore globalisation as a world-wide phenomenon and discuss various drivers and forms of global change and their relationship with globalisation processes. You are then introduced to the concept of governance before contrasting ideas of global health governance and governance for global health.
  • Globalisation and Health
    • This module begins by exploring the ongoing debates regarding the positive and negative impacts of globalisation. Learners are then introduced to conceptual frameworks for understanding the connection between globalisation and health, settling on a model which explicitly visualises that globalisation affects the institutional, economic, social-cultural and ecological determinants of population health, and that the globalisation process mainly operates at the contextual level, while influencing health through its more distal and proximal determinants. Learners are then presented with two argumentative techniques used in advocacy before practicing these rhetorical skills to evaluate and formulate arguments for the positive and negative impacts of globalisation.
  • The State, Intergovernmental and Non-government Global Health Actors
    • This module takes learners through a very rapid and concise history of international health cooperation and global health governance, before outlining the current global health governance landscape and identifying all the main actors. We then examine the consequences of globalisation for the state as a political entity and highlight the crucial role played by the state within the structure of global health governance. We then introduce learners to the key intergovernmental institutions and non-government actors currently engaged in global public health, including the WHO, the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
  • Global Health Partnerships and Commercial Actors
    • This module examines the role of different global health partnerships in global health, such as the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. We introduce learners to commercial actors and the impact they have on global health policy. We then return to the conceptual framework introduced in module 2 to explore the influence of the global health governance system on the relationship between globalisation and population health.

Taught by

Christina Atchison and Wendy Kwok


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