Is the concept of global health useful as a way of conceptualizing contemporary health issues in world politics - Essay Example

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Global health is conceptualized broadly to include, social, physical and mental ‘well-being’ among populations within the collective global community (Fidler, 2010, p. 3). Although national health institutions and policies usually deal with health issues, globalization has…
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Is the concept of global health useful as a way of conceptualizing contemporary health issues in world politics
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Download file to see previous pages reats posed by anthrax, environmental damages, crime, human trafficking and terrorism, all come to mind when the term global health is used (Yoube, 2005). Governments and inter-governmental organizations have implemented global health policies and statements indicating that global health has emerged as an important foreign policy issue especially in relation to both national and international security (Labonte and Gagnon, 2010).
It would therefore appear that the concept of global health is a useful way of conceptualizing contemporary health issues in world politics. However, Ruger (2008) argues that states have viewed contemporary global health issues as a threat to national security only insofar as it relates to the threat of biochemical weapons. Thus global health initiatives can be ramed in terms of orthodox international relations theory (Ruger, 2008). In this regard, global health is irrelevant as state rivalries take center stage. On the other hand, McInnes and Lee (2013) argue that applying a social constructivist analysis, the concept of global health is useful for conceptualizing contemporary health issues as these issues intricately tie the state to the market and forms an important part of the international political economy. It has also been argued that social constructivism more adequately reflects how states and international organizations view global health. From this perspective global health issues are viewed as intricately tied to other state interests that go beyond the potential of biochemical weapons (Forman, Cole, Ooms, and Zwarenstein, 2012).
This research study analyses both sides of the argument. In particular this research study analyses whether or not the international relations theory of realism or social constructivism more adequately explain the concept of global health and as such whether or not these concepts of global health are useful for conceptualizing contemporary health issues. This paper is therefore divided into three ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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