Research

My current research examines several areas of domestic and international health governance and policy processes. Approached from a political science perspective that combines theoretical frameworks in international relations, historical and contemporary institutional theory, my work compares how several emerging economies respond to public health threats, such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis; the role of civil society in domestic and global health policy responses; and the reform of international health agencies and their impact on domestic policy and governance processes.

Below, please find a listing of my current research projects and collaborators.

General Interests

  • Institutional Theory in Global Health Policy
  • Global Health Governance and Health Systems Reform
  • BRICS and healthcare
  • International Health Organizations

Research Projects

  • Geopolitics in Health: Confronting Obesity, AIDS, and Tuberculosis in the Emerging BRICS Economies

    Geopolitics in Health: Confronting Obesity, AIDS, and Tuberculosis in the Emerging BRICS Economies

    Forthcoming with Johns Hopkins University press, this book examines how the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) varied in their response to the HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), and the obesity epidemic. In this book, I introduce the concept of geopolitical positioning to account for the varied impact that international institutions have on domestic public health policies. In brief, geopolitical positioning explains the interests and incentives that political leaders have to respond to international pressures through a stronger policy response to disease, the domestic and foreign policy strategies that this entails, and to what extent they are willing to work with the international community and engage in acts of global health diplomacy. I then compare the historic difference between these nations in the area of state-civil societal relationships and expectations for overcoming the challenges of decentralization through a more centralized policy response. This book concludes with a wider discussion of the BRICS’ challenges in overcoming healthcare problems and what this means for their emerging nation status.

  • Civil Society and Global Health

    Civil Society and Global Health

    With my collaborator Dr. Stephanie Smith at the University of New Mexico, we conduct an in-depth literature review and analysis of the current research examining civil society’s engagement with global health policy-making processes.

  • Democratic Transitions and Healthcare Inequalities in Emerging Economies

    Democratic Transitions and Healthcare Inequalities in Emerging Economies

    This area of research focuses on the impact of democratic transitions, electoral systems design, and decentralization on heath policy inequalities in several emerging economies. More specifically, this work seeks to establish differences between nations in Latin America and Asia on the political and civil societal expectations for universal access to equitable healthcare following transitions to democracy, the motivations for policy regulation after electoral and policy decentralization, and to what extent recent health insurance programs achieve full coverage and access to medicine.

  • Primary Care Institutions and Diabetes Policy in Brazil and Mexico

    Primary Care Institutions and Diabetes Policy in Brazil and Mexico

    With collaborators Emanuel Orozco Nunez and Armando Arredondo Lopez at the National Public Health Institute in Mexico and Flavia Mori and Marislei Nishijma at the University of São Paulo in Brazil, this project compares the politics of institutional inequalities in the provision type-2 diabetes treatment and self-care management in three major urban centers in both countries.

  • Health Institutions

    Health Institutions

    For several years, I have been conducting research on the design and reform of institutions in the area of healthcare. I define institutions here as both the informal and formal expectations and processes shaping the design and implementation of policy. Current work strives to establish distinctions between public health and health insurance institutions, with differentiating historical and contemporary linkages at the international and domestic level. I am also pursuing support to develop a new database of health institutional indicators, which an be used for more effective policy evaluation and prescriptions. Some of my research on this topic has appeared in the journal Health Policy.

  • International Health Organizations

    International Health Organizations

    Another area of research focuses on the application of institutional theory to the reform and adaptation of multilateral health agencies, such as the World Bank and the Global Fund to Fight HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. This work seeks to explain how insights from institutional change theory, network and power theory can advance our understandings of how these multilateral agencies differentiate in their response to country healthcare needs, while providing insights into greater organizational efficiency and policy effectiveness. Previous research on this topic has appeared in journals such as Health Policy & Planning, Globalization & Health, and Health Policy.