Universität Wien FIND

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240076 SE VM1/VM7 - The crisis of WHO and the failure of the int. community in the global health crisis (2021S)

On the Critique of Current Development Policy and Global Governance for Health in times of Anti-Feminist Populism from the Perspective of Feminist Post-Development Approaches

Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first serve).


max. 25 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

Die LV startet digital und wird, wenn es die Covid-Bestimmungen wieder zulassen, auf Vor-Ort umgestellt.

Tuesday 09.03. 12:30 - 16:00 Digital
Tuesday 23.03. 12:30 - 16:00 Digital
Tuesday 20.04. 12:30 - 16:00 Digital
Tuesday 04.05. 12:30 - 16:00 Digital
Tuesday 18.05. 12:30 - 16:00 Digital
Tuesday 08.06. 12:30 - 16:00 Digital
Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1
Tuesday 22.06. 12:30 - 16:00 Digital
Seminarraum SG1 Internationale Entwicklung, Sensengasse 3, Bauteil 1


Aims, contents and method of the course

The aim of the course is to discuss perspectives of global governance for health and of development in a critical perspective. With a particular focus on post-development approaches and feminist-postcolonial critiques, the seminar addresses the origins and features of the contemporary global health crisis. This is not only to issue that the contemporary crises management has dramatic effects on the situation of structurally marginalized people but also that COVID-19 has increased gender inequality and the need to tackle multiple forms of disadvantage especially in the global South.
Against this backdrop, the seminar’s starting point is: Corona is not a natural disaster. The spread of Corona is the consequence of blatant political failures - at the national, European, and global level: The Corona crisis illustrates in a drastic way that diseases do not stop at national borders but have a global dimension. Therefore, we will discuss if and in what sense the spread of Covid -19 demonstrates that states have been neglecting global responsibilities that stem from human right to health but also if and in what sense states have failed to support the WHO as a public institution with a global authority.

Assessment and permitted materials

Regular attendance, active discussion, group work, oral presentation, and a written assignment (essay 15 pages).

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

A basic background in critical debates on global governance, development and postcolonial-feminist theory is an advantage but is not a requirement. Anyone who is interested in exploring the power-structural and ideological causes of health inequality in an intersectional perspective can take part. A good command of written and spoken English is required. As the seminar seeks to encourage students to reflect critically on power-structures and ideology, it invites students to actively participate in the seminar design and discussions. The willingness to read and critically reflect is here an essential requirement. At the same time, students should have the opportunity to develop their own positions and ideas in exchange with their fellow students as well as with the lecturer.

Examination topics

The first part of the seminar is based on the reconstruction of conceptional debates on global governance for development and post-development. In the second part of the seminar, we will address postcolonial-feminist critiques on development and global governance for health. In the third part, we will address the contemporary global health crisis in the context of anti-feminist and chauvinist populism and question in what sense these politics have also led to the crisis of the WHO.

Reading list

Association in the course directory

VM1; VM7

Last modified: Fr 16.04.2021 13:28