Picto Article

Regional integration, health policy and global health


Although regional integration processes are mainly shaped around trade, economic and security objectives, health does come into the picture as it has an interface with each of those domains. Yet, reviews of relationships between regional integration and global and public health have so far been confined to specific organizations, geographic areas and thematic issues. This article, in contrast, attempts a comprehensive cross‐cutting analysis of such relationships on a world‐wide basis. The article demonstrates and systematizes mechanisms by which regional integration organizations address various aspects of health services and population health. It also explores how such mechanisms, and regional integration processes in general, contribute to international health cooperation and global health. The article argues that the multidisciplinary landscape of regional integration amplifies opportunities for the multisectoral dimension of – and cross‐sectoral coherence for – public health policy to manifest and function. The author also argues that the health dimension of regional integration processes may serve an important component of the rapidly expanding space of governance for global health.