Trade, foreign policy, diplomacy and health

7. International Law

David P Fidler


Limitations of international law

  • The role of power in global public health
  • The state-centric, consent-based nature of international law
  • Priorities in the production of GPG
  • Financing international legal regimes
  • Weaknesses of governments and national systems of law

The global public health community believes that GPGH are seriously undersupplied. Many commentators have noted how globalization may exacerbate public health problems nationally and internationally, from the global spread of infectious diseases to the worsening of occupational safety and health conditions worldwide. Clearly, at the very least, this perspective suggests that, although international law may be necessary, it is not sufficient for the production of GPGH. This section explores some (but by no means all) of the limitations that confront the use of international law in the world politics of public health:

  • The role of power in global public health
  • The state-centric, consent-based nature of international law
  • Priorities in the production of global public goods
  • Financing international legal regimes
  • Weaknesses of governments and national systems of law
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