Framing Health and Foreign Policy: Lessons for Global Health Diplomacy
Ronald Labonté, Department of Epidemiology and Community Medicine, Canada Research Chair,
Globalization and Health Equity, Institute of Population Health, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Michelle L Gagnon,
Globalization and Health 6:14:1-22, 2010 – August 2010
Available online at: http://bit.ly/9xZopy
“……..Global health financing has increased dramatically in recent years, indicative of a rise in health as a foreign policy issue. Several governments have issued specific foreign policy statements on global health and a new term, global health diplomacy, has been coined to describe the processes by which state and non-state actors engage to position health issues more prominently in foreign policy decision-making. Their ability to do so is important to advancing international cooperation in health.
In this paper we review the arguments for health in foreign policy that inform global health diplomacy. These are organized into six policy frames: security, development, global public goods, trade, human rights and ethical/moral reasoning. Each of these frames has implications for how global health as a foreign policy issue is conceptualized. Differing arguments within and between these policy frames, while overlapping, can also be contradictory. This raises an important question about which arguments prevail in actual state decision-making.
This question is addressed through an analysis of policy or policy-related documents and academic literature pertinent to each policy framing with some assessment of policy practice. The reference point for this analysis is the explicit goal of improving global health equity.
This goal has increasing national traction within national public health discourse and decision-making and, through the Millennium Development Goals and other multilateral reports and declarations, is entering global health policy discussion. Initial findings support conventional international relations theory that most states, even when committed to health as a foreign policy goal, still make decisions primarily on the basis of the 'high politics' of national security and economic material interests. Development, human rights and ethical/moral arguments for global health assistance, the traditional 'low politics' of foreign policy, are present in discourse but do not appear to dominate practice. While political momentum for health as a foreign policy goal persists, the framing of this goal remains a contested issue….”
Labonté, R., Schrecker, T., Packer, C., Runnels, V. (eds).
Globalization and Health: Pathways, Evidence and Policy,
The following chapters are now freely available on-line as per an agreement with the publisher:
Chapter 1: Globalization’s Challenges to People’s Health RONALD LABONTÉ AND TED SCHRECKER
Chapter 4: Labor Markets, Equity, and Social Determinants of Health TED SCHRECKER
Chapter 5: Globalization and Policy Space for Health and Social Determinants of Health MERI KOIVUSALO, TED SCHRECKER, AND RONALD LABONTÉ
Chapter 9: Globalization and the Cross-Border Flow of Health Workers CORINNE PACKER, RONALD LABONTÉ, AND VIVIEN RUNNELS
Chapter 10: Globalization, Trade, and the Nutrition Transition CORINNA HAWKES, MICKEY CHOPRA, AND SHARON FRIEL
Chapter 11: Intellectual Property Rigths and the Inequalities in Health Outcomes CARLOS M. CORREA
Chapter 13: Rights, Redistribution, and Regulation RONALD LABONTÉ AND TED SCHRECKER
All can be downloaded from URL:
Mohindra, K. and Labonté, R.
“What works in meeting the health needs of Scheduled Tribes in
A systematic review of the literature”, BMC Medicine 2010, 10(438):1-10.
Mohindra, K. and Labonté, R.
“Making sense of the global economy: ten resources for health promoters”,
Health Promotion International 25(3): 355-62, 2010.
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