The Normative Authority of the World Health Organization

Public Health, Forthcoming

11 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2015

See all articles by Lawrence O. Gostin

Lawrence O. Gostin

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Devi Sridhar

University of Oxford

Daniel Hougendobler

Georgetown University - The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law

Date Written: 2015

Abstract

The World Health Organization (WHO) was born after the devastation of World War II, as a normative agency endowed with unprecedented constitutional powers. But even as it has achieved stunning successes, such as the eradication of smallpox, it has failed to live up to the exalted expectations of the postwar health and human rights movement e exemplified most recently by its inadequate response to the Ebola epidemic. Our aim is to offer innovative ideas for restoring the Organization to its leadership position by exercising its normative authority, even as it faces a crowded and often chaotic global health architecture. Before doing so, it will be helpful to summarize the main tensions the Organization faces in today's global health landscape.

Keywords: World Health Organization, global governance, national health

JEL Classification: K00, K30, K39

Suggested Citation

Gostin, Lawrence O. and Sridhar, Devi and Hougendobler, Daniel, The Normative Authority of the World Health Organization (2015). Public Health, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2634181

Lawrence O. Gostin (Contact Author)

Georgetown University - Law Center - O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States
202-662-9038 (Phone)
202-662-9055 (Fax)

Devi Sridhar

University of Oxford ( email )

Mansfield Road
Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4AU
United Kingdom

Daniel Hougendobler

Georgetown University - The O'Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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