CEFC Files: One World, One Health

by on Thursday, 30 June 2011 Comments

Over the next few months we will be releasing videos of all the impassioned researchers based at the Taipei branch of the French Centre for Research on Contemporary China (CEFC) to introduce their new research directions in Sinology and Taiwan Studies. Vincent Rollet is a researcher at The French Centre for Research on Contemporary China, Taipei branch based in Academica Sinica. His research is based around Identity, Security and Societal Dimensions of the Taiwan’s Foreign Policy against Infectious Diseases (2000-2008). Here, Vincent came to the Ricci Institute to introduce his research and reveals to us the role of public health and afflictuous diseases in international diplomacy, before looking at ways that Taiwan can have greater representation in international public health while it remains outside of the WHO.

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While the last decades have been characterized by the acceleration of the emergence or re-emergence of infectious diseases, many governments have placed the fight against these diseases on their foreign policy agenda. Two main questions can be raised: what has been the nature of their foreign policy and which dynamics prompted or conditioned them?

To answer these questions and to contribute to the general debate on the link between « Foreign Policy » and « Health », my Phd research focused on the Taiwan case. It shows that despite the particular situation of Taiwan on the international scene, since 2000, its government has conducted a specific foreign policy to fight against infectious diseases which has taken several forms.

Calling upon the conceptual tools proposed by the Constructivist, Realist and Liberal streams of International Relations commonly used to analyse Foreign Policy, this thesis provides an original interpretation of this foreign policy. It also shows that corporative, role-type and collective identities, as well as exigencies of security and societal demands, represent the explicative factors of this foreign policy.

This research concludes that the Foreign Policy conducted by Taiwan between 2000 and 2008 in the fight against infectious diseases held identity, security and societal dimensions, which then displays the multidimensional aspect of a Foreign Policy in the field of Health.

 

Vincent Rollet

Vincent has been conducting doctoral research on reactions to SARS in China and Taiwan.

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