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Public Health Cooperation in Zones of Conflict
June 2011

Pandemics and Peace examines disease surveillance networks of the Mekong Basin, Middle East, and East Africa to answer two interrelated questions. First, “Why is inter-state cooperation in an area of national vulnerability occurring among countries with a history of conflict?” Second, because key participants in each of these transnational networks include both public and private actors, “How do these public-private networks deliver transnational public goods (health) and what factors facilitate or impede effective and legitimate transnational governance?”

Drawing on international relations theory, Long presents an integrated explanation that demonstrates the processes by which interests, institutions, and ideas can align to allow for interstate cooperation even in unfavorable environments, rather than advocating a theory of international cooperation alone. As for transnational governance, he generates working propositions on what make these new forms of public-private governance effective and legitimate for further scholarly investigation; and creates analytical frameworks for practitioners grappling with transnational problems generally.

Turning to U.S. global health diplomacy in infectious disease control, Long contends that this arena presents an unparalleled opportunity for American leadership in global public health that could deepen bilateral ties, foster regional cooperation and stability, and burnish America’s image globally. Emphasizing that strengthening foreign capacity in infectious disease control is vital for U.S. security and economic interests, he concludes with detailed policy recommendations and suggestions for further research.

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