Research Handbook on Global Health Law
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Research Handbook on Global Health Law

Edited by Gian Luca Burci and Brigit Toebes

The effect of Globalization on health has attracted the attention of scholars and policy makers across multiple disciplines. A key concern is the regulation of international health protection, and in particular the use of international health instruments and the complex interaction between international law and health considerations. For the first time, a group of law and policy scholars have analysed these issues, drawing on knowledge from their respective fields. The resulting book provides comprehensive coverage of contemporary issues in global health law and governance.
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Chapter 2: Global health law and governance: concepts, tools, actors and power

Suerie Moon


This chapter focuses on the relationship between global health law (GHL) and global governance, conceptualizing GHL as an outcome of and input to broader global governance processes. I offer a definition of global health law as: a codified rule (whether binding or non-binding) with the explicitly-stated intention to protect or promote health, endorsed by a governmental or intergovernmental entity, agreed by three or more countries and with effects beyond a single region. The existence, contents, application and impact of GHL are shaped by a wide range of states and non-state actors using a broad range of power resources at their disposal, and interacting in a complex system. GHL is one among many tools that actors wield to pursue their interests in the global arena, and it can play an important role in performing key functions of the global health system. However, it is likely to remain underused due to the reluctance of states.

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