In 1985, based on interest at its previous World Congress, IPSA established Study Group #19 that focused on health care policies. Under the leadership of Christa Altenstetter (City University of New York, USA), the Study Group was promoted to become a Research Committee in 1997 at the 17th World Congress in Seoul (Korea) and an Executive Board was elected in 2000 at the 18th World Congress in Quebec City (Canada). In March 2010, after a rigorous review, IPSA's Committee on Research and Training extended RC25's mandate for another six years to 2016.


At present, RC25 has 131 members from 25 countries; of these, 48 are also members of IPSA. The RC25 Chair is James Warner Bjorkman (Institute of Social Studies, The Netherlands) who was elected in 2006 at IPSA's 20th World Congress in Fukuoka (Japan) and re-elected in 2009 to a final three-year term at the 21st World Congress in Santiago de Chile. The Vice-Chairs are Pieter Fourie (University of Pretoria, South Africa) and Jeni Vaitsman (National School of Public Health, Brazil). Like all IPSA Research Committees, RC25 is managed within general IPSA guidelines and it is required to organize at least one meeting between world congresses as well as a minimum of two panels at each world congress.


In terms of its activities and main foci within Political Science, the Research Committe on Comparative Health Policy:

* Engages in comparative analyses of health policies

* Reviews state-of-the-art approaches, methodologies and substantive findings

* Addresses options and instruments in health policy such as modes of financing, privatization, decision-making, policy neworks, self-help and health promotion

* Compares commonalities over time, place and substance to contrast nongovernmental and governmental experiences in organizing, financing, regulating and delivering health services in ambulatory and hospital care sectors

* Analyzes health policy and sustainable development by exploring the rewards of investments in human capital and democratic participation in public policies for health care


Since the 20th IPSA World Congress in Fukuoka (Japan) in 2006, RC25 has co-organized the following series of conferences, roundtables and panels:

* New Delhi (India), 15-16 October 2007, conference on "Comparative Health Policies within Welfare States in Developing Societies" hosted by Delhi University's Faculty of Management Studies and co-sponsored by RC39 (Welfare States in Developing Societies); 16 papers (five panels)

* Bellville (South Africa), 3-4 March 2008, conference on "Comparative Health Policies" co-sponsored by the South African chapter of OSSREA -- Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa; 16 papers (six panels)

* The Hague (The Netherlands), 10-12 November 2008, conference on "Comparative Health Policies" co-sponsored by the Institutes of Social Studies; 15 papers (five panels)

* Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), 11-12 March 2009, conference on "Politics of Health and Social Protection" co-sponsored by Escola Nacional de Saude Publica -- Brazil's National School of Public Health; 18 papers (six panels)

* Santiago (Chile), 12-16 July 2009, IPSA's 21st World Congress; 12 papers (four panels)

* Baltimore (USA), 21-22 October 2010, conference on "Improving Access and Relating Access to Outcomes in National Health Systems" at the University of Maryland's Global Health Resources Center; 12 papers (three panels)

* Varna (Bulgaria), 18-22 May 2011, conference on "Comparative Health Reforms in Central and Eastern Europe since 1990" co-sponsored by NISPAcee -- Network of Institutes and Schools of Public Administration in Central and Eastern Europe; 10 papers (two panels)

The next major meeting with RC25 participation will be IPSA's 22nd World Congress in Madrid (Spain) during 8-12 July 2012. The Congress theme is "Reordering Power, Shifting Boundaries".



Addendum: Archival materials about the history of RC25 can be accessed on its old website at the City University of New York. The previous address is: