This course aims to provide students with an introduction to the implications of diseases from historical times to the present, and to develop their skills in analysing the political, economic and social impacts of threats to health. After a broad inter-disciplinary introduction, the course considers pandemic outbreaks (Plague, SARS, H5N1, H1N1, HIV/AIDS) as well as a range of epidemics (smallpox, polio, syphilis and cholera). Towards the end of the course the threats posed by non-communicable diseases (cancer, obesity, diabetes) are also considered in a comparative perspective. Cutting across all cases this course will compare and contrast the roles played by states, societies, market actors and international organizations. Empirically-driven this course will range across the major infectious disease outbreaks of the 20th and 21st centuries. Although this course is international in scope, it will more specifically draw upon Asian examples and issues.