Are the ‘Good Times’ Over? Looking to the Future of Global Health Governance

Owain David Williams and Simon Rushton

After ten years of unprecedented attention and funding for global health, and a simultaneous increase in the range and number of institutions involved in global health governance, we have arrived at what seems to be a watershed moment. This paper assesses the future of global health governance in this context. In particular, the financial crisis, the rise of middle- income powers, and changes in US domestic politics are all viewed as injecting new fault lines and dynamics into the existing system of governance. Although the impacts of these changes are likely to be profound, the paper argues that the private and hybrid public-private institutions that have become prominent in global health governance in the last decade will continue to play a central role in tackling a narrowly delineated range of global health problems, albeit with potentially fewer resources. Indeed the trend for a greater emphasis on ‘private’ forms of authority seems likely to become further entrenched by the financial crisis-engendered emphasis on the delivery of efficient global health interventions.