Global constitutionalism, applied to global health governance : uncovering legitimacy deficits and suggesting remedies

Authors & affiliation

Gorik Ooms, Rachel Hammonds

Abstract

Background: Global constitutionalism is a way of looking at the world, at global rules and how they are made, as if there was a global constitution, empowering global institutions to act as a global government, setting rules which bind all states and people. Analysis: This essay employs global constitutionalism to examine how and why global health governance, as currently structured, has struggled to advance the right to health, a fundamental human rights obligation enshrined in the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. It first examines the core structure of the global health governance architecture, and its evolution since the Second World War. Second, it identifies the main constitutionalist principles that are relevant for a global constitutionalism assessment of the core structure of the global health governance architecture. Finally, it applies these constitutionalist principles to assess the core structure of the global health governance architecture. Discussion: Leading global health institutions are structurally skewed to preserve high incomes countries' disproportionate influence on transnational rule-making authority, and tend to prioritise infectious disease control over the comprehensive realisation of the right to health. Conclusion: A Framework Convention on Global Health could create a classic division of powers in global health governance, with WHO as the law-making power in global health governance, a global fund for health as the executive power, and the International Court of Justice as the judiciary power.

Publication date:

2016

Staff members:

Link to publication

Open link

Attachments

art_10.1186_s12992-016-0216-2.pdf (open)

Related publications

2021 ANSER : five years of global academic collaboration building evidence for sexual and reproductive health and rights policies

Olivier Degomme, Emilie Peeters, Hedwig Deconinck, Alban Ylli, Albana Fico, Gentiana Qirjako, Dorina Ttocaj, Sara De Meyer, Kristien Michielsen, Anna Page, Wina Baeha, Kristi Praptiwi, Miranda van Reeuwijk, Beatriz Manuel, Elin C. Larsson, Carmen Ortiz, Bernardo Vega, Monserrath Jerves, Simukai Shamu, Annemiek Seeuws, Anna Galle, Anne Nobels, Ines Keygnaert, Hazel Barrett, Nina Van Eekert, Tammary Esho, Els Leye, Carles Pericas Escale, Samuel Thuo Kimani, Sofie Thielemans, Dara De Schutter, Remi Moerkerke, Louis De Backer, Viola N. Nyakato, Elizabeth Kemigisha, Wei Hong Zhang, Marleen Temmerman, Lina Hu, Shangchun Wu, Kaiyan Pei, Charlotte Neves de Oliveira, Argyro Chatzinikolaou, Eva Lievens

2018 Opportunities for linking research to policy : lessons learned from implementation research in sexual and reproductive health within the ANSER network

Emilomo Ogbe, Dirk Van Braeckel, Marleen Temmerman, Elin C Larsson, Ines Keygnaert, Wilson De los Reyes Aragón, Feng Cheng, Gunta Lazdane, Diane Cooper, Simukai Shamu, Peter Gichangi, Sónia Dias, Hazel Barrett, Anne Nobels, Kaiyan Pei, Anna Galle, Tammary Esho, Lucia Knight, Hanani Tabana, Olivier Degomme

2023 Label-free electrochemical immunosensor for cervical cancer screening

Sallam Al-Madhagi, Patricia Khashayar, Bo Verberckmoes, Evelien Peeters, Elien De Paepe, Heleen Vermandere, Mieke Adriaens, Jan Vanfleteren, Olivier Degomme, Elizaveta Padalko