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Melanie Ruelens, Jan Wouters

COVID-19 and the Trials and Tribulations of Global Health Governance

2021. Vol. 16. No. 2. P. 70–98 [issue contents]
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought to the fore significant shortcomings in global health governance. Faced with the rapid international spread of the virus, international actors unsuccessfully attempted a coordinated international response to tackle the Covid-19 outbreak and its far-reaching repercussions. The present article aims to shed light on certain flaws in the existing global health governance architecture that have thwarted both formal—the World Health Organization and the United Nations—and informal international actors—the Group of Seven and the Group of Twenty—in steering the international community through the current global health crisis. It first examines the actions taken by these actors during the Covid-19 pandemic and assesses why they fell short in steering a coordinated international response. Having identified individual states as the real culprits for the inadequate performance, the article discerns the underlying causes of individual states’ hindering of global health multilateralism. Subsequently, it underscores why global health multilateralism remains necessary in a post-Covid-19 world and which international actors should play an active role therein. To conclude, suggestions are given on how the global health governance architecture should be strengthened in a post-Covid-19 world.
Citation: Ruelens M. Wouters J. (2021) COVID-19 and the Trials and Tribulations of Global Health Governance. International Organisations Research Journal , vol. 16, no. 2, pp. (in English)
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