37 Global Health GovernanceA Conceptual Review

Richard Dodgson, Kelley Lee, and Nick Drager



In today's world of changing health risks and opportunities, the capacity to influence health determinants, status and outcomes cannot be assured through national actions alone because of the intensification of crossborder and transborder flows of people, goods and services, and ideas. The need for more effective collective action by governments, business and civil society to better manage these risks and opportunities is leading us to reassess the rules and institutions that govern health policy and practice at the subnational, national, regional and global levels. This is particularly so as a range of health determinants are increasingly affected by factors outside of the health sector – trade and investment flows, collective violence and conflict, illicit and criminal activity, environmental change and communication technologies. There is an acute need to broaden the public health agenda to take account of these globalizing forces, and to ensure that the protection and promotion of human health is placed higher on other policy agendas. There is a widespread belief that the current system of international health governance (IHG) does not sufficiently meet these needs and, indeed, has a number of limitations and gaps. In light of these perceived shortcomings, the concept of global health governance (GHG) has become a subject of interest and debate in the field ...

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