Global Health and Foreign Policy
Author(s)/Editor(s): Feldbaum H, Lee K and Michaud J
Publisher/Organizer: Epidemiologic Reviews
Publication date: June 2010
“Health has long been intertwined with the foreign policies of states. In recent years, however, global health issues have risen to the highest levels of international politics and have become accepted as legitimate issues in foreign policy.
This elevated political priority is in many ways a welcome development for proponents of global health, and it has resulted in increased funding for and attention to select global health issues. However, there has been less examination of the tensions that characterize the relationship between global health and foreign policy and of the potential effects of linking global health efforts with the foreign-policy interests of states.
In this paper, the authors review the relationship between global health and foreign policy by examining the roles of health across 4 major components of foreign policy: aid, trade, diplomacy, and national security. For each of these aspects of foreign policy, the authors review current and historical issues and discuss how foreign-policy interests have aided or impeded global health efforts. The increasing relevance of global health to foreign policy holds both opportunities and dangers for global efforts to improve health….”