Regional Organisations in the Making of Global Health Governance and Policy

Friday, 20 July 2018: 09:45
Oral Presentation
Nicola YEATES, The Open University, United Kingdom
Rebecca SURENDER, University of Oxford, United Kingdom
The growth of regionalist international integration strategies are integral to understanding the dynamics and consequences of the on-going restructuring of the world’s economic and social systems. In otherwise rich multidisciplinary academic literatures on diverse aspects of regional public policy, global health policy, and national health and welfare systems, the significance of regionalism for globalising processes and their impacts on population health, health services provision, and the ways in which health (and wider social) policies are being (re)made over larger integrative scales remains to be fully analysed.

This paper situates the health policies of world-regional organisations in relation to global health governance and policy making as a field of academic research and a political practice. With a particular focus on regulation, it identifies health agendas, policy approaches and policy programmes of these organisations internationally and locates them in relation to wider contexts and trends giving rise to the ‘thickening’ of regional organisations’ involvement in health and social policies. Variance is observed in the manifestation of regional health policy, in terms of mandates, actors, policy approaches, fields of regulation, and political practices of enactment.

The paper considers the evidence through two sets of analytical themes and questions. First, how can regional organisations be understood in relation to regulatory measures in global health policy? Are they policy actors in their own right or sites of policy making? Can they be understood as 'new' global policy actors? And how does a focus on regional health policy enhance analytical understanding of the scope and nature of global health policy? Second, in a context of a complex, fragmented and dynamic global health agenda, can regional health policy in practice contribute to greater coherence in implementing the SDG goals - and if so, how? Hypothesis and findings will be tested using the case of the ASEAN.