MOOC SRAS: a revolution of global governance of epidemics?

About the course

This MOOC offers to analyze the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) through the prism of social sciences. Through a multi-disciplinary approach (anthropology, sociology, history of epidemics, international relations, health economics and criticism of crisis communication), this MOOC aims to explain the role of globalization in the emergence of new infectious diseases and the notion of governance in case of health threats; to teach how to analyze relationships between the structure of States, the nature of political regimes and the management of infectious disease crises; and aims for the understanding of the role and evolution of precautionary measures and quarantines to prevent contamination.

Course team

University profressor and holder of the chaire of Health History of the Ecole des hautes études en santé publique, Rennes et Paris.


Five-week course. Each week corresponds to a particular sequence and consists in videos, quizzes, and weekly exercises. Two hours of study are required weekly (video+ quizzes and exercises).

Course plan

Chapter 1: General Introduction: An “odd contagious disease” is invading the planet and is addressed through “medieval methods”.

Chapter 2: Did SARS cause a “Chinese Tchernobyl”? Did Pekin yield in front of Geneva?

Chapter 3: Geneva, Toronto and warnings about travels.

Chapter 4: Economic lessons of SARS and behavioral changes.

Chapter 5: SARS “general rehearsal” before the influenza pandemic (or bioterrorist attack). Reform of International Health Regulations.

French (subtitles available in French and English)

Basic use of office software, basic knowledge of the basis of scientific research process in health and life sciences (bachelor degree level preferred).

MPH level (students of professionals) and/or background in social sciences. Reading English is required.

Public Health, Health Policy, Epidemiology

Social networks