Policy & Peace in Global Health

Expanding our reach, this crosscutting theme will support the Centre for Global Health's main aim to advance the sustainable development goals of peace, gender equality, quality education, and good health for all.

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“Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.” A statement attributed to M.L.King, and its relevance has become clear during the current COVID-19 pandemic. The variability within and between rich and poor countries have highlighted the importance of well functioning political institutions, effective policies, and a stable peace to mitigate the challenges created by the pandemic as well as the syndemic, the efforts made to reduce the rise of the pandemic. The interlinkages of social norms, policies, and practices, can lead to inequitable access and the unfair distribution of health care within countries. The complexity of the challenges warrant multidisciplinary efforts. The new crosscutting theme at CGH will establish a platform for academic discourse as well as research related to the importance and impact of policy and peace in global health. Using this platform we aim to:

  • advance education and learning of the complexity of global health,
  • communicate knowledge using policy and peace building as the lens,
  • build networks and partnership contributing to the discourse in the area of policy and peace in global health,
  • increase knowledge and advance global health research.

Past Events

Pandemics, Health Diplomacy, Peace and Cooperation - Professor Scott Gates and other experts examine pandemics, health diplomacy, and cooperation between states (Oct. 25, 2022).

Recap from this seminar

Policy and Peace in Global Health: Political and Ethical Pros and Cons of COVID-19 Vaccine Passports - The launch of the Policy & Peace Crosscutting Theme is celebrated with an online event discussing the possibility of a divided world between the vaccinated and unvaccinated and the political and ethical questions it raises (June 21, 2021).

Launch Event - recording available

Relevant External Activities

Policy Crosscutting Theme leader, Scott Gates moderated an online round table hosted by Peace Science Society, bringing together leading scholars to discuss global politics and peace during pandemics - Pandemics, Politics, and Peace - November 12, 2021.


Scott Gates

Professor, Department of Political Science, University of Oslo | Research Professor, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO)

Image may contain: Forehead, Dress shirt, Sleeve, Collar, Suit.Scott Gates is the Leader of the Policy and Peace Crosscutting Theme at the Centre for Global Health, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Oslo and Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). He is the Editor of the Journal of Peace Research and Editor of International Area Studies Review. He was Director of the Center for the Study of Civil War (CSCW) at PRIO, 2002-2013, which was designated by the Research Council of Norway as a Center of Excellence. Gates has published many peer-reviewed articles and twelve books including: Fragile Bargains: Civil Conflict and Power Sharing in Africa, coauthored with Kaare Strøm (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). Gates has research experience in both South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa. His current research interests include: global trends in armed conflict, the dynamics of civil war and insurgency, the development consequences of warfare, and health policy.​ 

Resource Group

The resource group will support the leader in advancing the CGH's ambitions for policy and peace as a crosscutting integrated theme.

Henrik Urdal

Director, Peace Research Institute of Oslo (PRIO)

Henrik Urdal (PhD, Political Science) is Director and Research Professor at the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). He is past Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Peace Research, and a former Research Fellow with the International Security Program at Harvard Kennedy School (2011-2012). Urdal’s work on political demography has been published in leading international academic journals. He has been a consultant for international organizations like the World Bank, the United Nations, and USAID. Urdal was part of a PRIO team producing one of the key background research papers for the World Bank/UNDP report Pathways for Peace. His research focuses on the impact of population and environmental change on armed conflict, including security implications of urbanization, ‘youth bulges’, and climate change. Another major research effort concerns the human consequences of war, including adverse consequences of armed conflict on maternal and child health. As past Director for the Conflict Trends project, a long-term collaborative effort between PRIO and the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, he has worked extensively on global trends in armed conflict.

Mary T. Curtin

Diplomat in Residence, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Portrait of Mary CurtinMary T. Curtin, PhD, a Minnesota native, joined the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota as diplomat-in-residence in 2013 after a 25-year career as a Department of State Foreign Service Officer. As diplomat-in-residence, she teaches courses in foreign policy and diplomacy and serves as chair of the Humphrey School's global policy area. During her Foreign Service career, she served at the US Mission to the EU in Brussels; as political counselor in Warsaw, Poland; and at missions in Tunisia, Mali, and Chile, as well as in Washington, DC. She has expertise in issues including Middle East policy; European affairs, including the EU and NATO; human rights and democratization, and non-proliferation. She was a member of the US delegation to the 1995 UN Conference on Women. She earned a PhD in history from Columbia University in the City of New York (1986), writing her dissertation on "Hubert H. Humphrey and the Politics of the Cold War, 1943-1954.”She speaks French, Polish, and Spanish.

Trygve Ottersen

Executive Director, Department for Health Services, Norwegian Institute of Public Health (NIPH)

Trygve Ottersen (MD, PhD) is executive director at the Norwegian Institute of Public Health, where he is heading the division of Infection Control. He is also associate professor at the University of Oslo. His research concentrates on health systems, health policy, health financing, priority setting, global health security, development assistance, and science advice.

Published June 11, 2021 10:45 AM - Last modified Nov. 1, 2022 2:14 PM