Friday, January 6, 2012

[EQ] Global health governance as shared health governance

Global health governance as shared health governance

Jennifer Prah Ruger, Yale University School of Public Health
New Haven, CT, USA
J Epidemiol Community Health JECH December 14, 2011 as 10.1136/jech.2009.101097


With the exception of key ‘proven successes’ in global health, the current regime of global health governance can be understood as transnational and national actors pursuing their own interests under a rational actor model of international cooperation, which fails to provide sufficient justification for an obligation to assist in meeting the health needs of others. An ethical commitment to providing all with the ability to be healthy is required.


This article develops select components of an alternative model of shared health governance (SHG), which aims to provide a ‘road map,’ ‘focal points’ and ‘the glue’ among various global health actors to better effectuate cooperation on universal ethical principles for an alternative global health equilibrium. Key features of SHG include public moral norms as shared authoritative standards; ethical commitments, shared goals and role allocation; shared sovereignty and constitutional commitments; legitimacy and accountability; country-level attention to international health relations.


A framework of social agreement based on ‘overlapping consensus’ is contrasted against one based on self-interested political bargaining. A global health constitution delineating duties and obligations of global health actors and a global institute of health and medicine for holding actors responsible are proposed.

Indicators for empirical assessment of select SHG principles are described.


Global health actors, including states, must work together to correct and avert global health injustices through a framework of shared health governance SHG based on shared ethical commitments. ………..”

Additional figures are published online only. To view these files please visit the journal online (



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