The End of One Era and the Start of Another: Partnerships, Foundations and the Shifting Political Economy of Global Health
  • Owain David Williams
  • Simon Rushton
Part of the International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)


This volume is being published in the wake of a period of unprecedented change in global health. We have witnessed a breathtaking transformation of global health governance, involving the generation of a whole new institutional architecture (a process which is still ongoing), and the foregrounding of health in international politics as never before. International politics has always been characterised by volatility and change. There have been rapid shifts in the distribution of power, in governance mechanisms, and in dominant priorities, ideas, and ideologies at various points in history. But, even by these standards, the recent changes in global health have been of a scale, significance, and rapidity which are difficult to apprehend. This volume has highlighted one of the most striking of these changes: the emergence of global health partnerships and private foundations as legitimate governance actors. Many of the institutions which the authors in this collection have sought to analyse and contextualise, and which are now at the heart of global responses to health crises, did not even exist fifteen years ago. Furthermore, the health issues that they have been created to address have risen spectacularly in prominence, in some cases genuinely becoming matters of ‘high politics’. While even a decade ago it made sense to talk about today’s ‘big three’ diseases (HIV/AIDS, malaria, and tuberculosis) as being ‘neglected’, they are now firmly in the consciousness of the global public and policy-makers alike, and as a consequence they have attracted substantial resources. Indeed the question posed by many commentators today is whether the resources devoted to the ‘big three’ are disproportionately large, undermining responses to other diseases, which are still worthy of the ‘neglected’ moniker.


Global Health Millennium Development Goal Global Fund International Politics BRICs Country 
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© Owain David Williams and Simon Rushton 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Owain David Williams
  • Simon Rushton

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