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 struct...


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 ini...
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 prov...


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 ...
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 a...

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...
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 indi...

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 e...
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...

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...