The Forschungsstätte der Evangelischen Studiengemeinschaft e.V. / Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (FEST) and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (MPIL) are pleased to announce a research project on International Health Governance (IHG). Its goal is to apply the International Public Authority (IPA) approach in order to characterize and explain IHG in the face of ongoing structural changes in public international law.
This IHG perspective purports to recognize the relevant actors involved in the goal of providing an adequate standard of health for persons. While the international human right to health still focuses on the home-states to guarantee minimum standards, IHG encompasses the broader picture of states, international organizations, NGOs, private actors and public-private partnerships (PPP's), all of them acting within the purview of legal norms as well as under ethical convictions. The recent West African Ebola crisis provides a relevant example for examining the response of different actors who aid states unable to safeguard their own citizens. What are the responsibilities of IHG actors and how does law coordinate their actions? Does the human right to health include research in health issues as an obligation of states? With the ultimate goal of delivering timely and effective aid, the interplay between regulatory provisions and structural shortcomings and their effect on coordinated aid delivery by various actors requires further scrutiny.
For the initial phase of our research, we have focused on two sub-areas of IHG:
(1) Responsibilities of IHG actors
(2) Coordination of IHG actors
An initial international workshop took place on March 3-4, 2016. The workshop theme was International Health Governance of Disease Outbreaks with Professor Marx (managing director "evaplan International Health" at the University Hospital Heidelberg, Germany) as keynote speaker. You can find the programme in the download section below.
The workshop was followed up by an edited volume. See below for further details.
Online symposium during April, 2016, on the topic of International Health Governance of Disease Outbreaks, taking place at the Völkerrechtsblog:
As a result of the Workshop, which took place at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law in March, 2016, the book The Governance of Disease Outbreaks - International Health Law: Lessons from the Ebola Crisis and Beyond (edited by Leonie Vierck, Pedro Villarreal and Katarina Weilert), has been published with Nomos (2017). The publication has been possible thanks to a collaboration between the Forschungstätte der Evangelischen Studiengemeinschaft e.V. / Institute for Interdisciplinary Research (FEST) and the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law, also with support from the Frankfurt Normative Orders Cluster and the Bundesministerium für Gesundheit/Federal Ministry of Health of Germany (BMG).
This edited volume is directed at experts in international law, practitioners in international institutions, and other experts who would like to familiarize themselves with the legal framework of infectious disease governance. Using the West African Ebola crisis of 2014 as a case study, this book is part of a larger collaborative project on international health governance.
As there is a persistent risk of the occurrence of infectious disease epidemics and pandemics, it is all the more important to frame the underlying mechanisms, legal and otherwise, to deal with such problems. The aim of the book is thus to critically contribute to the ongoing debates related to instruments such as the International Health Regulations, as well as the role of international organizations such as the World Health Organization.
Against this backdrop, the authors explain the context and substantive legal framework of the Ebola crisis, while also highlighting its human rights aspects, institutional law (such as the debate on the securitization of health) and the limits to a purely legal approach to the subject. Thus, the authors herein come from various backgrounds such as law, public health, political science and anthropology.
The book can be purchased here.
Please find a long concept paper for our IHG project here as well as the documents of our initial workshop in March 2016 (open until end of November 2015).