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International Health as Foreign Policy

With globalization and ensuing cross-cutting linkages between various issue-areas, health is becoming a major foreign policy issue in an increasing number of states, including Norway.

Today international health issues are closely linked to security, trade as well as environmental issues like climate change. States are to varying degrees affected by these developments, like pandemics. However, states may also seek to actively pursue and affect the evolving agenda. Norway is playing an active part here.

Norway was instrumental in establishing the 'Oslo Ministerial Group' (OMG) in 2006, together with seven other countries. An explicit goal is to get health higher on the international agenda and it has been quite successful. Although the WHO is still the main health arena, a number of new international institutions have been established. The goal of this project is both to study the formation of these institutions as well as their effectiveness. Institutional design as well as relations between science and policy is important. The role of Norway is given particular emphasis.

Project Leader: Steinar Andresen

Project period: 2010-2011


Faid, Miriam, Tackling Cross-Sectoral Challenges to Advance Health as Part of Foreign Policy FNI Report 2/2012. Lysaker, FNI, 2012, 39 p.

Sandberg, Kristin Ingstad, Steinar Andresen, Sissel Hodne Steen, Sigrun Møgedal, Kristine Husøy Onarheim and Graziella Van der Bergh, 'Helse som utenrikspolitikk' (English version: 'Health as Foreign Policy'), Tidsskrift for Den norske legeforening, No 18, 20.09.2011.

Sandberg, Kristin I. and Steinar Andresen, 'From Development Aid to Foreign Policy: Global Immunization Efforts as a Turning Point for Norwegian Engagement in Global Health'. Forum for Development Studies, Vol 37, No 3, 2010, pp. 301-325.
 Related focal points of research:

   Global environmental governance and law

Project funding:

   Fridtjof Nansen Institute
   Centre for Development and Environment (SUM), University of Oslo

 External cooperation partners:

   Centre for Development and Environment (SUM), University of Oslo
   Faculty of Medicine, University of Oslo
   Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva

 Recent media coverage:

'Samarbeid om global helse' ('Cooperation on Global Health'), Firda, 07.12.2010. In Norwegian.

'Norge lanserer forskningssamarbeid på utenrikspolitikk og global helse ' ('Norway Launches Research Cooperation on Foreign Policy and Global Health'). Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs press release. 06.12.2010. In Norwegian.

Fridtjof Nansen Institute
P.O. Box 326, 1326 Lysaker, Norway. Tel: (+47) 67111900 / E-mail: post (