Poverty reduction and health became central in the agendas of Southern regional organisations in the last two decades. Yet, little is known about how these organisations address poverty, inclusion and social inequality, and how Southern regional formations are engaging in power constellations, institutions, processes, interests and ideological positions within different spheres of governance. This article reviews academic literatures spanning global social policy, regional studies and diplomacy studies, and the state of knowledge and understanding of the ‘place’ of regional actors in health governance as a global political practice therein. It identifies theoretical and thematic points of connection between disparate literatures and how these can be bridged through research focusing on the social policies of regional organisations and regional integration processes. This framework hence locates the contributions of each of the research articles of this Special Issue of Global Social Policy on the regional dimension of health policy and diplomacy in relation to Southern Africa and South America. It also highlights the ways in which the articles bring new evidence about how social relations of welfare are being (re)made over larger scales and how regional actors may initiate new norms to improve health rights in international arenas engaging in new forms of ‘regional’ diplomacy.
Riggirozzi, P.; Yeates, N. Locating regional health policy: Institutions, politics, and practices. Global Social Policy (2015) 15 (3) 212-228. [DOI: 10.1177/1468018115599819]