Over the past two decades, the narrative that ‘health is global’ has developed into a dominant discourse. The ability of diseases to move rapidly across boundaries and continents, the mobility of the health workforce, the multi-national nature of pharmaceutical companies are all elements in a new landscape which suggests that health can no longer be determined or governed nationally. Rather global health requires global solutions. This lecture, however, suggests that the narrative was not only over-stated, but that more recent developments undermine it yet further. Not least, resurgent nationalism provides a competing narrative to globalization, while new thinking about ‘planetary health’ suggests that perspectives may need to be broadened beyond the global.
Professor Colin McInnes is Director of Research, Impact and Excellence at Aberystwyth University. Based in the Department of International Politics, he is a UNESCO Professor and holds the UNESCO Chair in HIV/AIDS Education and Health Security in Africa.