Public Health

What is public health?

Public health is a corner stone of modern welfare states. Research on public health policies aims to examine factors that contribute to disease prevention and that influence the health of different population groups. Important questions are, for example: what are the determinants of lifestyle choices, what are the practices and the impact of social control, what is the role of health and social welfare organisations, which policy intervention will guarantee and promote good health? Public health brings together a variety of stakeholders, policies, and practices to prevent diseases and to maintain and improve the health and well-being of people at several stages of their life course.

Why is research on public health needed?

Public health focuses on the intersection of health and society. Social research in the health sciences is pursued within a frame of reference made up of individual actors, social situations, normative patterns, and administrative systems. Social sciences in the health sector are interested in the way health systems are organised, and how health organisations in the medical system, practices of social control, and the choice of lifestyles are brought together in policy interventions.

What we offer:

Researchers and public health consultants at the European Centre have wide experience in alcohol and drug policies and great expertise in social science methods. They study the social system of alcohol and illicit drug use to advise policy makers on the relationship between social conditions and administrative structures for comprehensive health promotion and interventions. For example, in the context of research in public health, we

  • Study the consumption patterns of psychoactive substances such as alcohol and illegal drugs using qualitative and quantitative research methods,
  • Consider the social conditions that may promote or prevent substance use, including the influence of youth cultures,
  • Analyse regulations of substance use in terms of restrictions (medicalisation/ legalisation/ criminalisation), as well as the practice of control through institutions of the legal system (punishment, diversion),
  • Examine the interplay between health and criminal justice, industrial law, social housing, environmental development, migration policies, data protection and others.
  • Analyse prevention models of alcohol and illicit drug use
  • Liaise with stakeholder (e.g.  the WHO and APN - Alcohol Policy Network) in Europe to organise exchanges on new perspectives on alcohol and drug policies.
  • Pursue an inter-governmental approach that takes into account the degree to which health issues are allowed for in other policy areas (e.g. health in criminal justice institutions, health at the workplace, health of the homeless, healthy cities, and the protection of personal digital health data).

Project examples

Contact persons

Selma Kadi

Selma Kadi

RESEARCHER
Rahel Kahlert

Rahel Kahlert

RESEARCHER
Klara Lorenz-Dant

Klara Lorenz-Dant

RESEARCHER