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From Ebola to COVID-19: what explains institutionalized manias and the ultimate preference for non-optimal solutions in global health governance?

From Ebola to COVID-19: what explains institutionalized manias and the ultimate preference for... The purpose of this paper is to investigate how “manias” in global health governance lead to health inequalities even before, during and in the aftermath of acute health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. “Manias” as used here refer to obsessive ir/rational behaviors, misguided policy/strategic choices and the exercise of power that benefit the major global health actors at the expense of stakeholders.Design/methodology/approachFrom post-colonial and historical perspectives, this study delineates how the major global health actors influence outcomes in global health governance and international business when they interact at the national–global level using an illustration from an emerging economy.FindingsPower asymmetry in global health governance is constructed around the centralization of economic influence, medico-techno-scientific innovation and the geopolitical hegemony of a conglomerate of super-rich/powerful actors. They cluster these powers and resources in the core region (industrialized economies) and use them to influence the periphery (developing economies) through international NGOs, hybrid organizations, MNCs and multilateral/bilateral agreements. The power of actors to maintain manias lies in not only how they influence the periphery but also the consequences of the periphery’s “passivity” and “voluntary” renunciation of sovereignty in medical innovations and global health policies/politics.Social implicationsAs a quintessential feature of manias, power asymmetry makes it harder for weaker actors to actually change the institutional conditions that produce structural inequalities in global health.Originality/valueThis timely and multidisciplinary study calls for a novel architecture of global health governance. Thus, democratizing global health governance with sufficiently foresighted investments that prioritize equitable access by and the inclusiveness of vulnerable stakeholders will help dismantle institutionalized manias while decreasing health inequalities. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png critical perspectives on international business Emerald Publishing

From Ebola to COVID-19: what explains institutionalized manias and the ultimate preference for non-optimal solutions in global health governance?

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
1742-2043
DOI
10.1108/cpoib-05-2020-0057
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to investigate how “manias” in global health governance lead to health inequalities even before, during and in the aftermath of acute health crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. “Manias” as used here refer to obsessive ir/rational behaviors, misguided policy/strategic choices and the exercise of power that benefit the major global health actors at the expense of stakeholders.Design/methodology/approachFrom post-colonial and historical perspectives, this study delineates how the major global health actors influence outcomes in global health governance and international business when they interact at the national–global level using an illustration from an emerging economy.FindingsPower asymmetry in global health governance is constructed around the centralization of economic influence, medico-techno-scientific innovation and the geopolitical hegemony of a conglomerate of super-rich/powerful actors. They cluster these powers and resources in the core region (industrialized economies) and use them to influence the periphery (developing economies) through international NGOs, hybrid organizations, MNCs and multilateral/bilateral agreements. The power of actors to maintain manias lies in not only how they influence the periphery but also the consequences of the periphery’s “passivity” and “voluntary” renunciation of sovereignty in medical innovations and global health policies/politics.Social implicationsAs a quintessential feature of manias, power asymmetry makes it harder for weaker actors to actually change the institutional conditions that produce structural inequalities in global health.Originality/valueThis timely and multidisciplinary study calls for a novel architecture of global health governance. Thus, democratizing global health governance with sufficiently foresighted investments that prioritize equitable access by and the inclusiveness of vulnerable stakeholders will help dismantle institutionalized manias while decreasing health inequalities.

Journal

critical perspectives on international businessEmerald Publishing

Published: May 17, 2021

Keywords: Post-colonialism; Pandemics; COVID-19; Manias; Pharmaceutical MNCs; Power asymmetry; Global health; International organizations

References