Dr Belinda Townsend

BA(Hon), BAppSc(Health), PhD
Research Fellow, NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence in the Social Determinants of Health Equity, Deputy Director Menzies Centre for Health Governance, School of Regulation and Global Governance
College of Asia & the Pacific
T: Room 3.04 Coombs Extension Building

Areas of expertise

  • Health Policy 160508
  • Political Science 1606
  • Political Theory And Political Philosophy 160609
  • International Relations 160607

Research interests

Politics of Health • Health governance • Political Science • Social determinants of health • Trade policy and health including intellectual property 


Dr Belinda Townsend is a Research Fellow in the School of Regulation and Global Governance at the Australian National University. Dr Townsend has previously worked as a policy advocate in the People’s Health Movement and has taught undergraduate and postgraduate international relations and political science at Deakin University. Dr Townsend holds a PhD in political science from Deakin University, having graduated with first class honours in political theory. Belinda's work examines the political economy of health, and in particular agenda-setting for health in areas outside the "health policy" domain, such as trade and investment, employment, and social and welfare policy. 

She has given lectures for a range of national and international associations on the topic of global governance for health. In 2018 Dr Townsend served as an expert witness for an Australian Parliamentary Joint Standing Committee inquiry into a proposed trade agreement. She has also presented her research on the impact of trade agreements on health to country chief negotiators of regional trade agreements in Australia and abroad.

Dr Townsend is an author on more than 16 peer-reviewed journal articles, book chapters and commissioned reports, including publications in Social Science and Medicine, Australian Journal of Political Economy, Health Promotion International, Public Health Nutrition, and Critical Public Health.


Available student projects

I am always eager to hear from Masters and PhD students who have an interest in working on projects in the following areas:

• Agenda-setting for the social determinants of health • Trade agreements and health including intellectual property • Civil society and governing for health • Health advocacy

Please do feel free to get in contact if you would like to pursue further study in any of these areas and to see whether I would be a suitable supervisor.

However, before you do, please check your eligibility to pursue a Master of Philosophy or PhD at the ANU.


Current student projects

I am currently a panel member for Steve Munns. Steve's doctoral research aims to understand the nature, prevalence and severity of service user violence and aggression perpetrated against frontline Australian Public Servants. 


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Updated:  21 October 2020 / Responsible Officer:  Director (Research Services Division) / Page Contact:  Researchers