Health norms in the global governance of development: A constructivist analysis
Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2019.
ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As states and regions become increasingly interconnected at the hands of globalisation, the politics of health are increasingly relevant to the sustainable future envisioned by global governance. This study identifies, describes and explains the emergence of health (and cognate) norms in global development discourse and governance since the end of the Cold War. Adopting a political scientific perspective within the constructivist epistemology, the study identifies and analyses the trajectory of norms that have emerged and come to inform the health goals of the United Nations Development Agenda. It seeks to address the questions of how and why health has materialised in global development in the timeframe between 1989 and the present moment; in doing so, it identifies processes, actors, institutions, and interactions between the spheres of development thinking and international relations. The main lens through which this is pursued is by analysing two separate but interrelated case studies: the Millennium Development Goals, and the Sustainable Development Goals. The discrete but interdependent components of the project provide overview and insights regarding the context of global development thinking and practice, and into the subtleties of global health, and of global health governance. This includes a short history of development practice and discourse, an introduction to the multifaceted field of global health, and the relationship between these spheres. Furthermore, the study examines and reviews the theoretical foundations upon which it builds its analysis, and subsequently investigates its subject matter in a detailed and chronological procedure. The study finds that the relevant norms have emerged, suffused, and subsequently become internalised through the various direct and indirect negotiation processes that created the policies formalised as global development goals. The importance of effective norm entrepreneurs and their ability to connect with established normative structures referred to by the study as meta-norms and super-norms proved essential to this process, particularly when further bolstered by traditional concerns of high politics. The study underscores the topicality and increasing traction of global health within International Relations, and conversely, the utility of IR constructivist analysis for understanding contemporary global health and development challenges.
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