Dr Clare Wenham is Associate Professor of Global Health Policy. She is the Director of the MSc in Global Health Policy and sits on the steering committee of the LSE Global Health Initiative. Clare is an interdisciplinary health policy/international relations academic, with research that also contributes to public policy and public health through an empirical focus on global health security. Her research explores the preparation for and response to epidemics by state and non-state actors, the political challenges of this multi-stakeholder landscape and the effects of epidemic mitigation policies.
Clare’s work focuses on the politics of infectious disease preparedness and response. Her research includes critical analysis of financing mechanisms, increasing convergence of global health security with universal health coverage, novel infectious disease surveillance methods, the role of the WHO, contextualising the structure of global health governance during Ebola as a point of failure, and the risk of “over-securitizing” health. She has also explored theoretically how international relations can contribute to resolving issues caused by COVID-19 and how feminist theory can contribute to disease governance. This has led to policy engagement with the WHO, UK Cabinet Office, the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Select Committee. At the national level, Clare has used empirical case studies to understand how different governments approach infectious disease control, with notable studies focused on Panama, Cuba, Thailand and the UK.
A second area of her research is the gendered impact of epidemic policy, where she considers how the gender neutrality of global health security policy differentially affects women. She has used empirical case studies from Zika, with a particular concentration on access to sexual and reproductive health services; and from COVID-19, highlighting the impact on women’s economic participation, the role of gender advisors and the failures within the World Health Organisation (WHO). Clare’s work on this has contributed to policy development at the European Parliament, WHO and UN Women, and is often cited by the UK government and media outlets. She is currently Co-PI on the Gender & COVID Project.
Prior to joining the LSE, Clare worked at the Department of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and in policy at the Faculty of Public Health (UK). She has a PhD in International Relations from Aberystwyth University.
HP404 Global Health Policy: Institutions, Actors and Politics
HP412 Global Health Security
HP4E1E Global Health Policy
LSE Latin American and Caribbean Centre
Firoz Lalji Centre for Africa