Globalisation has changed health conditions worldwide, affecting the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions. While historically many health issues have readily crossed borders (e.g. Black Plague), the intensification and extensification of contemporary globalisation processes has required new forms of governance to address changed global health needs. How do we collectively protect and promote health in an increasingly globalised world? This challenge has opened up a contested space known as global health governance (GHG) where the stakes are high but where different perspectives compete and contradict. It is also a poorly understood space. This programme aims to significantly advance our understanding of this space and the competition within it. It builds on a small body of existing literature to which the two applicants have already made important contributions, but represents a step change in two important respects. First, existing analyses have been limited to single approaches or perspectives. This programme represents the first sustained attempt at a comparative analysis incorporating a variety of perspectives and health issues. Given that the space is contested, it is only through such an analysis that we can significantly advance our understanding of GHG. Such an approach would represent a major advance on the current state of the art. Second, analysis to date has focused on disease and especially infectious disease. The applicants have been at the forefront of critiquing this approach as overly narrow (for example McInnes and Lee, 2006). This programme addresses infectious disease as one of the key issues in global health governance, but also incorporates non-communicable disease and non-disease based health issues in an explicit attempt to broaden the analysis to cover more fully the space occupied by global health governance.
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