Skip to main content


Governance for health

Section Editor: Raphael Lencucha, McGill University, Canada
Deputy Section Editors: Arne Ruckert, University of Ottawa, Canada

In the absence of global government, increased attention is being given to global governance: the intergovernmental and multi-stakeholder institutions engaged in setting policies and promoting accountability and transparency at a supranational level. Some of these institutions are health specific (e.g. the World Health Organization, UNAIDS and UNICEF), others have multiple agendas (e.g. World Bank), while others have non-health agendas that nonetheless affect health outcomes within and between countries (e.g. the World Trade Organization, International Labour Organization, International Monetary Fund, and United Nations Development Program, to name a few). Several have treaty-making authority with direct or indirect global health implications. Meanwhile, the re-emergence of powerful global philanthropies and the rise of global public/private partnerships pose particular governance challenges, while the proliferation of global commissions (as knowledge generators capable of influencing norms, but not actual decision-making) presents both opportunity (continuing to refine what a global government playbook might look like) and threat (creating a lot of conceptual noise that could obfuscate underlying issues of power imbalances and wealth inequalities). Papers submitted under this topic examine global governance opportunities and risks, including studies of power politics, conflicts of interest, membership and membership criteria, effectiveness in creating health equitable policies and programs at international and national scales, critical debates over the regulatory regimes or framework conventions versus voluntary corporate social responsibility initiatives, the health impacts of international health treaties and human rights covenants, and the role of national or global taxation policies or agreements in promoting health equity within and between countries.

  1. Content type: Commentary

    This brief commentary argues that glocal governance introduces a fruitful new perspective to the global governance debate of AMR, and cautions against too strict a focus on establishing globally binding governanc...

    Authors: Olivier Rubin

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:54

    Published on:

  2. Content type: Research

    Creating ‘liveable’ cities has become a priority for various sectors, including those tasked with improving population health and reducing inequities. Two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities b...

    Authors: Amanda Alderton, Melanie Davern, Kornsupha Nitvimol, Iain Butterworth, Carl Higgs, Elizabeth Ryan and Hannah Badland

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:51

    Published on:

  3. Content type: Research

    Globalization and funding imperatives drive many universities to internationalize through global health programmes. University-based global health researchers, advocates and programmes often stress the importa...

    Authors: Aaron N. Yarmoshuk, Donald C. Cole, Anastasia Nkatha Guantai, Mughwira Mwangu and Christina Zarowsky

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:37

    Published on:

  4. Content type: Research

    Industry sponsorship of public health research has received increasing scrutiny, and, as a result, many multinational corporations (MNCs), such as The Coca-Cola Company and Mars Inc., have committed to transpa...

    Authors: Sarah Steele, Gary Ruskin, Lejla Sarcevic, Martin McKee and David Stuckler

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:36

    Published on:

  5. Content type: Research

    A resilient health system is inevitable in attaining the health-related Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One way of strengthening health systems is improving the coverage of public health laws for better ...

    Authors: Yuri Lee and So Yoon Kim

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:29

    Published on:

  6. Content type: Research

    Operations of transnational corporations (TNCs) affect population health through production methods, shaping social determinants of health, or by influencing regulation of their activities. Research on communi...

    Authors: Julia Anaf, Frances Baum, Matt Fisher and Leslie London

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:13

    Published on:

  7. Content type: Review

    Fragmentation across governance structures, funding, and external actor engagement in Sierra Leone continues to challenge the efficiency and coherence of health sector activities and impedes sustained health s...

    Authors: Arwen Barr, Lauryn Garrett, Robert Marten and Sowmya Kadandale

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:8

    Published on:

  8. Content type: Research

    Performance-based financing (PBF) in low- and middle-income settings has diffused at an unusually rapid pace. While many studies have looked at PBF implementation processes and effects, there is an empirical r...

    Authors: Lara Gautier, Manuela De Allegri and Valéry Ridde

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2019 15:6

    Published on:

  9. Content type: Research

    Supermarkets have unprecedented political and economic power in the food system and an inherent responsibility to demonstrate good corporate citizenship via corporate social responsibility (CSR). The aim of th...

    Authors: Claire Elizabeth Pulker, Georgina S. A. Trapp, Jane Anne Scott and Christina Mary Pollard

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:121

    Published on:

  10. Content type: Review

    The World Health Organization (WHO) continues to experience immense financial stress. The precarious financial situation of the WHO has given rise to extensive dialogue and debate. This dialogue has generated ...

    Authors: Srikanth K. Reddy, Sumaira Mazhar and Raphael Lencucha

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:119

    Published on:

  11. Content type: Research

    Paraguay has reportedly been a major transit hub for illicit tobacco products since the 1960s, initially to supply markets in Argentina and Brazil and, more recently, other regional markets and beyond. However...

    Authors: Roberto Magno Iglesias, Benoît Gomis, Natalia Carrillo Botero, Philip Shepherd and Kelley Lee

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:111

    Published on:

  12. Content type: Research

    Leading transnational tobacco companies (TTCs) began to expand their operations in Latin America in the 1960s. This included legally exporting their cigarettes to Paraguay during the 1960s which, in turn, were...

    Authors: Benoît Gomis, Kelley Lee, Natalia Carrillo Botero, Philip Shepherd and Roberto Magno Iglesias

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:110

    Published on:

  13. Content type: Research

    Non communicable diseases (NCD) place a significant health burden on Pacific Island countries including Fiji. Policy interventions to curb NCDs have been implemented in Fiji including a 32% increase in the imp...

    Authors: Jeremaia Coriakula, Marj Moodie, Gade Waqa, Catherine Latu, Wendy Snowdon and Colin Bell

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:91

    Published on:

  14. Content type: Research

    Donors often fund projects that develop innovative practices in low and middle-income countries, hoping recipient governments will adopt and scale them within existing systems and programmes. Such innovations ...

    Authors: Neil Spicer, Yashua Alkali Hamza, Della Berhanu, Meenakshi Gautham, Joanna Schellenberg, Feker Tadesse, Nasir Umar and Deepthi Wickremasinghe

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:74

    Published on:

  15. Content type: Research

    Proponents have promoted sexuality education as a means of empowering adolescents, yet it has been thwarted in many low and middle-income countries. Nigeria represents an exception. Despite social opposition, ...

    Authors: Jeremy Shiffman, Michael Kunnuji, Yusra Ribhi Shawar and Rachel Sullivan Robinson

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:63

    Published on:

  16. Content type: Research

    Development assistance from governments of high income countries represents the vast majority of international funding for global health. Recent stagnation of this important source of funding may affect attain...

    Authors: Alexander Huepers, Henock B. Taddese and Filippos T. Filippidis

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:61

    Published on:

  17. Content type: Research

    South Africa’s mineral resources have produced, and continue to produce, enormous economic wealth; yet decades of colonialism, apartheid, capital flight, and challenges in the neoliberal post-apartheid era hav...

    Authors: Barry Kistnasamy, Annalee Yassi, Jessica Yu, Samuel J. Spiegel, Andre Fourie, Stephen Barker and Jerry M. Spiegel

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:60

    Published on:

    The Correction to this article has been published in Globalization and Health 2018 14:78

  18. Content type: Research

    The resolution adopted in 2006 by the World Health Organization on international trade and health urges Member States to understand the implications of international trade and trade agreements for health and t...

    Authors: Mariyam Suzana, Helen Walls, Richard Smith and Johanna Hanefeld

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:58

    Published on:

  19. Content type: Research

    Between 2011 and 2013, global and national guidelines for preventing mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV shifted to recommend Option B+, the provision of lifelong antiretroviral treatment for all HIV-i...

    Authors: M. F. Chersich, E. Newbatt, K. Ng’oma and I. de Zoysa

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:55

    Published on:

  20. Content type: Review

    In 2012, the European Commission funded Go4Health—Goals and Governance for Global Health, a consortium of 13 academic research and human rights institutions from both Global North and South—to track the evolut...

    Authors: Vannarath Te, Nadia Floden, Sameera Hussain, Claire E. Brolan and Peter S. Hill

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:51

    Published on:

  21. Content type: Research

    Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is a widespread public health problem and a violation of human rights rooted in gender and power inequities. Refugees, asylum-seekers and migrants living in European asy...

    Authors: Charlotte Oliveira, Ines Keygnaert, Maria do Rosário Oliveira Martins and Sónia Dias

    Citation: Globalization and Health 2018 14:48

    Published on: