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Book Review: The Power Behind Global Health

Summer Marion
Published: 
Aug 2017

Doctoral student Summer Marion recently published “The Power Behind Global Health,” a review of Chelsea Clinton and Devi Sridhar’s recent book, Governing Global Health: Who Runs the World, and Why? The review was co-authored with Michael R. Snyder, a research analyst at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and published by the International Peace Institute’s Global Observatory. In their book, Clinton and Sridhar profile the inner workings of four of the biggest players in global heath, including two traditional institutions -- the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Bank – and their younger cousins, known as public-private partnerships (PPPs) – the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria; and Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. Marion and Snyder analyze the book’s empirical contributions to the field of global health governance, examining disruption and innovation brought about by the rise of PPPs. Additionally, the review highlights the close relationships among PPPs, global health reform, and recent shifts toward earmarked and philanthropic funding. Finally, the book review evaluates Clinton and Sridhar’s contributions to principal-agent theory, a commonly used framework in studies of multilateral aid, and potential for elaboration in future research.