Shaping Norms for Health Governance in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)

Marie Nodzenski, Kai Hong Phua, Yee Kuang Heng, and Tikki Pang

While global health governance mechanisms have been studied extensively, little research has been conducted on the factors that fundamentally shape and constrain international health policy-making or on the norms and values that influence or define global health politics. The political and economic emergence of several nations has been challenging the ways health policies and programs are designed and implemented, but also the fundamental values that underpin such policies.In light of unstructured Global Health Governance, increasing attention has been devoted to regions as health actors. In fast-developing Southeast Asia, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has become one of the most prominent actors in health and could potentially act as a platform for different stakeholders in health, fostering a convergence of interests, norms and values. This paper looks at the norms that shape and constrain health-policy making in Southeast Asia, with a particular focus on the growing role of the third sector in norm diffusion despite little political integration at regional level. Health issues provide a vantage point to analyse the changing nature of relations and governance frameworks as well as the emergence of new norms through civil society movements in Southeast Asia.