Image of Simon RushtonDr Simon Rushton

Senior Lecturer

Contact Details
Telephone: +44 (0)114 222 1710
Fax: +44 (0)114 222 1717
Room: Elmfield 1.31

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Simon joined the Department of Politics in January 2013. He completed an LLB in Law and Politics followed by an MA in International Law and Politics at the University of Hull. He moved to the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University in 2000 to undertake a PhD and subsequently held posts at Aberystwyth as Lecturer and Research Fellow.

Simon convenes the Health research theme of the Sheffield Institute for International Development. He is an Associate Fellow of the Centre on Global Health Security at the Royal Institute of International Affairs, Chatham House, and sits on the Editorial Boards of the journals Medicine, Conflict and Survival, Global Health Governance, and Global Security: Health, Science and Policy.

Simon is the Department’s Director of Undergraduate Recruitment.


At Undergraduate level, I offer the Level Three module POL3139 Pandemics and Panics: Health, Security and Global Politics and contribute to teaching on the Level 2 module POL230 Contemporary Security Challenges.

At Master’s level, I offer the module POL6604 Global Health and Global Politics.

I view students taking my modules as emerging scholars with something to contribute to our knowledge and understanding, not as passive recipients of truths handed down from on high. The balance I try to strike in my teaching is between conveying knowledge and at the same time helping students to develop the conceptual and critical tools that allow them to challenge conventional wisdoms and re-think common assumptions. I always enjoy working with students from different backgrounds and with varied life experiences who can engage critically with big political issues, look at things in different ways and ask new questions. I invariably learn something new from each group of students that I teach.

In 2017, I received a Teaching Excellence in Social Sciences award for Outstanding Practice in Learning and Teaching.


Simon’s research interests focus on the global politics of health and on participatory research methods. His work has looked in particular at international responses to HIV/AIDS and other diseases; the links between health and national security; the changing architecture of global health governance; and issues surrounding health care delivery in conflict and other crisis situations. He has a growing interest in participatory research methodologies, including Participatory Video, which he is currently using on projects in Nepal and Colombia.

Externally funded research projects:

Awarding Body: Newton RCUK-Colciencias Research Partnership
Title of Research: Improbable Dialogues: Participatory Research as a Strategy for Reconciliation
Principal Investigators: Simon Rushton and Jefferson Jaramillo (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia)
Co-Investigators: Matthew Bishop (Politics, UoS), Jackie Harrison (Journalism, UoS), Jaime Hernandez-Garcia (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia), Juan Miguel Kanai (Geography, UoS), Melanie Lombard (Urban Studies, UoS); Stefanie Pukallus (Journalism, UoS), Jose Manuel Salamanca (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia), Fernando Sarmiento (CINEP, Colombia), Helen Turton (Politics, UoS), Juan Pablo Vera (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia), Maria Zapata (Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Colombia).
Duration: 24 months (2018-2020)
Total Award: £489,962

Awarding Body: ESRC-DFID Development Frontiers Research Scheme.
Title of Research: Resilience Policymaking in Nepal: giving voice to communities
Principal Investigator: Simon Rushton
Co-Investigators: Julie Balen (ScHARR, University of Sheffield), Bhimsen Devkota (Bikas Shrot Kendra, Nepal), Jonathan Joseph (Politics, University of Sheffield), Jiban Karki (Politics, University of Sheffield), Andrew Lee (ScHARR, University of Sheffield), Martina McGuinness (Management School, University of Sheffield), Sarita Panday (Politics, University of Sheffield)
Duration: 12 months (2017-2018)
Total Award: £297,906

Awarding Body: Wellcome Trust
Title of Research: Healthcare Anatomy of Conflict
Principal Investigator: Louis Lilywhite (Chatham House)
Collaborators: Karl Blanchet (LSHTM); Stuart Gordon (LSE); Simon Rushton.
Duration: 12 months (2015-2016)
Total Award: £50,000

Publications and Papers

View full bibliography

Key Publications

PhD Supervision

I am always happy to hear from students considering a PhD in any area of global health politics, or in global governance, international institutions or security studies more broadly.

Current PhD students:

  • Adam Ferhani, ‘Everyday health security practices: disease surveillance and border screening’.
  • Jana Fey, ‘A Critical Security Studies approach to Global Mental Health’.
  • Chishimba Mulambia, ‘Health sector decentralization in Zambia’.
  • Charlotte Godziewski, ‘Eating well in the EU: Critically examining the soft governance of diet-related NCD prevention’.
  • Maëlle de Seze, ‘The making of health policies and the transnational circulation of biomedical knowledge: The fight against Hepatitis B Virus in Senegal’.
  • Remi Adekoya, ‘Ethnic identity and ethnic mobilization in Nigerian politics - a critical analysis of the roles played by Nigeria’s founding fathers: Obafemi Awolowo, Nnamdi Azikiwe and Ahmadu Bello’.
  • Jonathan Webb, ‘The EU and Democratisation: Creating Democratic Culture’.

Completed PhD students:

  • Herman Salton, ‘Dangerous Diplomacy: Anatomy of the UN Failure in Rwanda’.
  • Sonja Kittelsen,‘The EU and the Securitization of pandemic influenza’.

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