Insegnamento a.a. 2022-2023


Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English
Go to class group/s: 31
BIG (3 credits - I sem. - OBS  |  SPS/04)
Course Director:

Classes: 31 (I sem.)
Class 31: RENU SINGH

Lezioni della classe erogate in presenza

Suggested background knowledge

Basic knowledge of political science and general knowledge of international relations and current events would be helpful. Curiosity and critical thinking are welcome. Regular reading of the press is encouraged.

Mission & Content Summary


This 24-hours course is divided in two different modules conducted by two professors. Our aim will be to focus on two complementary topics: the specific example of the Franco-German relations and contemporary theories on security issues. Both topics have a peculiar role in shaping the current public debate. Paris and Berlin play a leading role in EU affairs, while security has become a key political concept, especially after 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic. Part I - "The Franco-German Relations - Quo Vadis?" (prof. Beda Romano) Part II - "Exploring the "Security Phenomenon" (prof. Camilla Pagani)


What is the relationship between global health and policy? What are the socioeconomic and political determinants of disease? How have such tiny microorganisms affected the government and politics of states, supranational institutions, and non-state actors throughout history and today? Who are the key actors involved in global health governance and security? And what are key political consequences and concerns of global health policy? This course grapples with these questions as an interdisciplinary take on the complex relationship between government, governance, health, and policy issues through the lens of public policy, political science, and public health. Theoretical concepts from all three fields will be studied and used to analyze real-world problems and evaluate policy options to deal with them from across the globe. The course does not assume any previous knowledge of microbiology, public health, or epidemiology.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILO)


At the end of the course student will be able to...

By the end of the semester, students will be able to:

·       Demonstrate a strong understanding of the intersections between the health of infectious diseases and international relations in both the historic and contemporary era. Further, they will be able to grasp relevant overlaps in the literature between science and technology studies, international relations, and global health governance.

·       Describe the political and theoretical debates that underscore several case studies of political challenges associated with disease.

·       Consider national and international governance concerns and the complexity of the network of stakeholders involved in infectious disease issues.

·       Assess competing hypotheses about the political implications of disease by utilizing social science methodology.

·       Create, present, and defend realistic policy proposals that are meant to address problems associated with disease (e.g. outbreaks, biothreats, the lack of certain public service provisions, state weakness and failure).


At the end of the course student will be able to...

- Interpret and understand key issues in global health policy related to issues of governance, security, science and technology, and public health.

- Formulate their own analyses and recommendations on key policy issues in global health.


Teaching methods

  • Face-to-face lectures
  • Guest speaker's talks (in class or in distance)
  • Case studies /Incidents (traditional, online)
  • Individual assignments
  • Interactive class activities (role playing, business game, simulation, online forum, instant polls)


Students will be encouraged and expected to participate in class discussions, case studies, and a Model UN simulation; ask questions; and intervene on the issues at stake. They will be called upon to read academic work and relevant institutional and newspaper articles.

Assessment methods

  Continuous assessment Partial exams General exam
  • Written individual exam (traditional/online)
  • Individual assignment (report, exercise, presentation, project work etc.)
  • Active class participation (virtual, attendance)


Attending students will have a written final exam, incorporating short answers and multiple choice. There will also be a brief policy memo assignment (3-4 pages), a Model UN simulation, and regular class participation grades. 


Non-attending students will have a written final exam. This exam will ensure that students have memorized important concepts and can apply them to applied critical thinking about global public health policy issues.

Teaching materials


All reading materials will be indicated in the syllabus which will be published at the beginning of September.

Last change 10/06/2022 22:32