Governance for health
Section Editor: Gorik Ooms, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK
Deputy Section Editors: Raphael Lencucha, McGill University, Canada and 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.