North American Health Governance: Shocks, Summitry, and Societal Support

Jenilee Guebert, John Kirton


Cross-border health challenges have led to innovative governance responses. No longer able to go it alone, actors must coordinate their efforts with their partners. The 2009 outbreak of swine influenza (H1N1), the earlier scare of avian influenza (H5N1), and the spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome (


SARS) in 2003 forced themembers of theNorthAmerican Free Trade Agreement to tackle health challenges. Officials, ministers, and leaders collaborated in an effort to achieve a mutually beneficial outcome. These successive shocks, which struck with increasing simultaneity and shared severity, raised trilateral cooperation higher, while North American summitry sustained it.


global health governance; NAFTA; SARS; H1N1/swine flu, avian influenza, Security and Prosperity Partnership/North American Leaders Summit; Mexico; Canada United States



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