Global Health Takes a Normative Turn: The Expanding Purview of International Health Law and Global Health Policy to Meet the Public Health Challenges of the 21st Century
Benjamin Mason Meier
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
December 18, 2012
Global Community: Yearbook of International Law and Jurisprudence (2011)
While international health law was conceived as a means to protect independent state interests against global health threats, this paradigm of mutual self-interest is being challenged by a new normative reality — with global health policy pursued as a means to realize a more just world. In seeking justice in an increasingly globalized world — through international legal agreements among states and global health policies among state and non-state actors — norms are progressively framing the global health response. The present article explores this normative turn in global health, tracing the history of international health law through the lens of realist and constructivist theories of international relations. As norms increasingly provide legitimacy to global health governance, this article analyzes the expanding influence of norms on international health law and global health policy, advocating additional legal research on the impact of norms and outlining a research base for normative policy analysis in global health.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 40
Keywords: global health policy, human rights, international health law, norms
Date posted: December 19, 2011 ; Last revised: July 3, 2013
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