Global Health Equity

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Global Health Diplomacy: Four Country Comparative Study

Over the past decade, health concerns have increasingly been integrated into foreign policy discussions and deliberations as the accelerated pace of globalization continues to dissolve many of the boundaries between domestic and foreign policy issues. Events such as the HIV/AIDS pandemic, threats from infectious diseases, fears about bio-terrorism and issues related to trade and health have provided an incentive for foreign policy decision-makers to give more attention to health issues.This awareness has led to new forms of global health policy and governance through negotiated forms of collective action, often referred to as global health diplomacy (GHD). While considerable literature has been published in recent years on GHD, there remains little conceptual consensus and even less empirical research that explores the conditions under which health becomes effectively integrated into foreign policy decisionmaking processes.

The goal of this study is to investigate, understand and theorize the conditions for the entry into and institutionalization of health in foreign policy. We approach this research by posing four guiding research questions:

1. What health concerns enter into diplomatic and foreign policy discussions and negotiations domestically?

2. How do theses concerns enter such negotiations?

3. What are the conditions, including the conditions of decision-making processes, that allow state and non-state health actors to be successful (or not) in influencing foreign policy priorities and multilateral negotiating positions of national governments?

4. How do multilateral negotiations impact decision-making processes about foreign policy priorities of national governments and with what effects on health priority setting in foreign policy?