This paper explores the relationship between the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Europe (WHO Europe) and Scotland in the context of mental health. Since devolution Scotland has gained autonomy as a constituent country of the United Kingdom and has developed a reputation for progressive mental health policy. Scotland has also become increasingly involved in WHO, notably in the development of the Mental Health Declaration for Europe. In this paper we examine the interactions that regulate the relationship between these two actors in order to determine how and why the relationship was built. Our analysis draws on interviews with individuals involved in the development of the Declaration and its accompanying Action Plan alongside an analysis of related texts. We observe that the relationship between Scotland and WHO was created and perpetuated through personal communication, meetings and the joint production of documents, in a way that mutually validated the policy aims and agenda of both actors.

Source: International Journal of Public Policy 9 (4/5/6) 260–276