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Global Health Governance at a Crossroads

Global Health Governance, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 1-37, 2011

37 Pages Posted: 30 Oct 2010 Last revised: 28 Jun 2011

Nora Y. Ng

Yale University

Jennifer Prah Ruger

University of Pennsylvania

Date Written: October 28, 2010


This review takes stock of the global health governance (GHG) literature. We address the transition from international health governance (IHG) to global health governance, identify major actors, and explain some challenges and successes in GHG. We analyze the framing of health as national security, human security, human rights, and global public good, and the implications of these various frames. We also establish and examine from the literature GHG’s major themes and issues, which include: 1) persistent GHG problems; 2) different approaches to tackling health challenges (vertical, horizontal, and diagonal); 3) health’s multisectoral connections; 4) neoliberalism and the global economy; 5) the framing of health (e.g. as a security issue, as a foreign policy issue, as a human rights issue, and as a global public good); 6) global health inequalities; 7) local and country ownership and capacity; 8) international law in GHG; and 9) research gaps in GHG. We find that decades-old challenges in GHG persist and GHG needs a new way forward. A framework called shared health governance offers promise.

Keywords: global health governance, shared health governance

JEL Classification: I18

Suggested Citation

Ng, Nora Y. and Prah Ruger, Jennifer, Global Health Governance at a Crossroads (October 28, 2010). Global Health Governance, Vol. 3, No. 2, pp. 1-37, 2011 . Available at SSRN:

Nora Ng

Yale University ( email )

New Haven, CT 06520
United States

Jennifer Prah Ruger (Contact Author)

University of Pennsylvania ( email )

Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States

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