Christa Altenstetter focuses her teaching and research on the politics of health care reform and medical technology regulation, comparative public (health) policy, and the European Union. She is the author of numerous articles, including “Medical Device Regulation in the European Union, Japan and the United States: Commonalities, differences and challenges,” Innovation—The European Journal of Social Science Research (December 2012); “Medical Device Regulation and Nanotechnologies: Determining the Role of Patient Safety Concerns in Policymaking,” Law & Policy (April 2011); and “EU Regulation of Medical Devices and Pharmaceuticals,” with Govin Permanand, Review of Policy Research (RPR) (September 2007). Her books include Medical Devices: European Policymaking and the Implementation of Health and Patient Safety in France (2008); Health Policy Reform, National Variations and Globalization (1997), edited with James Warner Björkman; and Comparative Health Policy and the New Right: From Rhetoric to Reality (1991), edited with Stuart C. Haywood.
In 1982, Altenstetter founded the Study Group (SG 19) on Comparative Health Policy within the International Political Science Association (IPSA) and served as president of what became IPSA Research Committee 25 Comparative Health Policy until 2006. Formerly on the research staff of the Urban Institute, Yale Medical School, and the Wissenschaftszentrum in Berlin, she also has been a visiting scholar at the London School of Economics and Political Science, Sciences-Po in Paris, the Max-Planck Institute for the Study of Society in Cologne, and the GSF-National Research Center for Environment and Health in Munich. Altenstetter has served as frequent consultant to the Regional Office for Europe of WHO. She is currently conducting a comparative research study of medical technology regulation in the European Union and the United States.