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date: 18 May 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Global health politics has emerged over the last two decades as a distinct interdisciplinary field of study which, although its boundaries are not set, is beginning to demonstrate signs of maturity. It is concerned with the actions, practices, and policies that govern the sphere of global health. Its emergence then is intimately linked with the reconceptualisation of health as global. The field addresses not only the processes of decision-making, but also the structures of power that shape what is possible and the requirement for collective action to address global problems. Politics is unavoidable, necessary and integral to effectively addressing global health challenges. The study of global health politics therefore is not about how to minimise interference in rational decision-making, but rather about explaining and improving the quality of political institutions and processes that will in turn improve global health actions and ultimately outcomes. Fundamental to this is an understanding of the nature of politics and the workings of power. But the field also requires knowledge and techniques from a variety of disciplines, which intersect to produce a more complete understanding than any one discipline can provide. The result is inherently both multi- and interdisciplinary, characterised by methodological pluralism and varied theoretical perspectives.

Keywords: global health, global health security, global health governance, global health policy, right to health, international relations, infectious disease, non-communicable disease, disease control

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