Globalization has led to new health challenges for the twenty-first century. These new health challenges have transnational implications and involve a large range of actors and stakeholders. National governments no longer hold the sole responsibility for the health of their people. These changes in health trends have led to the rise of global health governance as a theoretical notion for health policy making. The Southeast Asian region is particularly prone to public health threats such as emerging infectious diseases and faces future health challenges including those of noncommunicable diseases. This study looks at the potential of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) as a regional organization to lead a regional dynamic for health cooperation in order to overcome these challenges. Through a comparative study with the regional mechanisms of the European Union (EU) for health cooperation, we look at how ASEAN could maximize its potential as a global health actor. Our study is based on primary research and semistructured field interviews. To illustrate our arguments, we refer to the extent of regional cooperation for health in ASEAN and the EU for (re)emerging infectious disease control and for tobacco control. We argue that regional institutions and a network of civil society organizations are crucial in relaying global initiatives, and ensuring the effective implementation of global guidelines at the national level. ASEAN’s role as a regional body for health governance will depend both on greater horizontal and vertical integration through enhanced regional mechanisms and a wider matrix of cooperation.
Related Content
Are non-traditional security challenges leading regional organizations towards greater convergence?
How are regional organizations responding to the emergence of non-traditional security (NTS) challenges? Are they engaging in more cooperative efforts to meet new threats? Or, on the contrary, do they react in different manners according to their distinctive values, principles and internal structures? This article attempts to investigate how the threats posed by NTS are compelling different regional organizations to reconsider their security thinking and to find new innovative ways of cooperation. This is done by comparing two diverse regional organizations, the EU and the Association of So...


Towards green energy cooperation in Northeast Asia: implications from European experiences
Faced with the dual challenge of depletion of fossil fuels and climate change, three Northeast Asian countries—China, Japan and Korea—introduced green energy initiatives in recent years. Even though the portion of renewable energy in the energy mix has been limited, a rapid shift to green initiatives has given a strong boost to renewable energy resources. Cooperation with respect to green energy in Northeast Asia (NEA) may eventually overcome the geopolitical constraints and zero-sum nature of the fossil fuel supply in the region. However, this cooperation also faces a number of obstacl...
From the mouths of babes: Dental caries in infants and children and the intensification of agriculturel in mainland Southeast Asia
Many bioarchaeological studies have established a link between increased dental caries prevalence and the intensification of agriculture. However, research in Southeast Asia challenges the global application of this theory. Although often overlooked, dental health of infants and children can provide a sensitive source of information concerning health and subsistence change. This article investigates the prevalence and location of caries in the dentition of infants and children (less than 15 years of age) from eight prehistoric mainland Southeast Asian sites collectively spanning the Neolith...


The neolithic demographic transition and oral health: The Southeast Asian experience
The purpose of this article is to present new oral health data from Neolithic An Son, southern Vietnam, in the context of (1) a reassessment of published data on other Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Age Southeast Asian dental series, and predictions of the Neolithic Demographic Transition (NDT). To this end, frequencies for three oral conditions (caries, antemortem tooth loss, and alveolar lesions) were investigated for seven Southeast Asian adult dental series from Thailand and Vietnam with respect to time period, age-at-death and sex. A clear pattern of elevated rates for oral disease in the...
Gender and transition in Southeast Asia: conceptual travel?
Theories and concepts of political transition have been influenced to a great deal by Western theoretical and conceptual reflection. The parameters of transition are usually based on two assumptions or expectations: The goal of transition is democracy or a democratic system, and both actors and affected persons are perceived as gender-neutral beings, i.e., there is no distinction made between male or female actors and persons concerned. This article problematizes the conventional concept of transition and attempts a gendered conceptualization. Empirically, it draws from studies and fieldwor...

Ascertaining the Role of Taiwan as a Source for the Austronesian Expansion
Taiwanese aborigines have been deemed the ancestors of Austronesian speakers which are currently distributed throughout two-thirds of the globe. As such, understanding their genetic distribution and diversity as well as their relationship to mainland Asian groups is important to consolidating the numerous models that have been proposed to explain the dispersal of Austronesian speaking peoples into Oceania. To better understand the role played by the aboriginal Taiwanese in this diaspora, we have analyzed a total of 451 individuals belonging to nine of the tribes currently residing in Taiwan...
Demographic transitions and migration in prehistoric East/Southeast Asiathrough the lens of nonmetric dental traits
The aim of this study is to examine and assess the nonmetric dental trait evidence for the population history of East and Southeast Asia and, more specifically, to test the two-layer hypothesis for the peopling of Southeast Asia. Using a battery of 21 nonmetric dental traits we examine 7,247 individuals representing 58 samples drawn from East and Southeast Asian populations inhabiting the region from the late Pleistocene, through the Neolithic, Bronze Age, Iron Age, and into the historic and modern periods. The chief data reduction technique is a neighbor-joining tree generated from the tri...

The role of Russian gas in China’s energy supply strategy
China’s gas industry has witnessed a massive expansion and Chinese energy planners envisage a huge development of natural gas in China until 2030. This growth requires large-scale imports of gas in the coming two decades. This article discusses the role of Russian gas exports in China’s gas expansion. It analyses China’s natural gas growth in the coming decades, based on the projections of China’s domestic production capacity and the consequent necessity of large-scale pipeline gas imports from Russia, the Central Asian Republics, and Myanmar. Included in the projections are LNG imp...
Social Networks of Corruption in the Vietnamese and Lao Cross-Border Timber Trade
Although corruption is a core issue in discourses on Southeast Asian states and the region's illegal timber trade, its specific meanings, characteristics, and role are poorly understood. Our ethnographic study of corruption and timber trade in the lower Mekong uncovers the relationships, dealings, and networks that enable illegal timber flows. We follow the disputed case of a shipment of high-value timber that originated in Laos and was seized by Vietnamese seaport customs officials in 201By examining the actors involved and their efforts to obtain the release of the timber, we reveal the c...

REDD Policy Impacts on Indigenous Property Rights Regimes on Palawan Island, the Philippines
Several Southeast Asian states have been working feverishly to design and implement REDD policy frameworks to fulfil their commitment to global climate change mitigation. In doing so, state agencies will be challenged to design REDD plus policies that value and conserve forest carbon in ways that align with national policies and local priorities for managing forest landscapes defined by complex property rights regimes. However, as with other market-based policies, the expeditious delivery of REDD could bypass critical analysis of potential interactions with national tenure regimes, customar...