Book Brief: Global Health Governance

Jeremy Youde
Polity Press (June 2012)
ISBN 9780745653099
188 pages

With a mixed approach combining the international legal environment with increasingly pressing global health issues, Jeremy Youde’s Global Health Governance provides an introduction to the legal infrastructure and jurisprudence at the intersection of public health and global governance. The book offers a framework for understanding the network of actors, interests, and issues at stake and their wide-ranging effects.

Youde explains where the need for an international system to address health needs first developed and attributes this to the economically motivated idea that “diseases cross borders” and “governments sought to work together because they did not want commerce interrupted.” Through a concise history of international health governance, he outlines the development of the first intergovernmental health groups up to the post-World War II establishment of present-day groups.

Youde further examines the creation and rise of the actors prominent in global health governance today—players like the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, The World Bank, private actors/NGOs, and civil society organizations. Connecting them to the biggest issues that confront the global health governance structure, he evaluates how the actors must cope with such pressures. Youde brings particular attention to health security, prevention, and access to pharmaceuticals, calling for a stronger, universal stance to remedy these problems.