(Clockwise from top left: Alma Beltrán y Puga, Luciano Bottini Filho, Ana Lorena Ruano, María Natalia Echegoyemberry)
By Alicia Ely Yamin and Chloe Reichel
In the years before the pandemic, and especially since the pandemic began, there have been increasing calls to decolonize global health. Setting aside what Ṣẹ̀yẹ Abímbọ́lá rightly characterizes as the slipperiness of both the terms “decolonizing” and “global health,” these calls speak to the need to reimagine governance structures, knowledge discourses, and legal frameworks — from intellectual property to international financial regulation.
Global health law itself, anchored in the International Health Regulations (2005), purports to present a universal perspective, but arguably rigidifies colonialist assumptions about the sources of disease, national security imperatives, priorities in monitoring “emergencies,” and governance at a distance. The diverse tapestry of international human rights scholarship related to health is often not reflected in analyses of the field from the economic North. In turn, that narrow vision of human rights has also increasingly faced critiques from TWAIL, Law & Political Economy, and other scholars, for blinkered analyses that fail to challenge the structural violence in our global institutional order — which the pandemic both laid bare and exacerbated.
In an attempt to enlarge discussion of these important topics and amplify diverse voices, the Petrie-Flom Center is welcoming four new affiliated researchers to the Global Health and Rights Project (GHRP).