Whither Global Health in the Trump Era?

Over the course of a generation, global health has moved from being regarded as peripheral to international politics to assuming a prominent place on the global political agenda. Since the election of Donald Trump in the United States and his demonstrated antipathy toward multilateralism and global health programs, it is worth questioning whether Trump’s ascendancy signifies the demise of global health’s role in international politics. In this article, I make a five-fold argument. First, I argue that global health has become an institution within international society—and that its status will continue even in the face of the Trump Administration. Second, I posit that global health is at an inflection point where it has the opportunity to adjust and adapt to changing international circumstances. Third, I bring up some of the important challenges facing global health at the beginning of the Trump Administration, including new leaders of major global health institutions and questions about funding priorities. Fourth, I raise the possibility that reframing global health more explicitly as a security issue may curry greater support from the Trump Administration, but come with significant costs. Finally, I discuss how the challenges to global health in the current era may open opportunities for redefining the relationships between state and non-state actors in the global health space.

Jeremy Youde is a Senior Lecturer at the College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU. Jeremy’s research focuses on questions of global health governance and global health politics. He is the author of three books and co-editor of two recently edited volumes. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters in a wide variety of outlets and is a member of the editorial board of Global Health Governance. He is also Treasurer and member of the Executive Council of the Global Health Section of the International Studies Association as well as Member-at-Large on the Executive Board of the International Studies Association's LGBTQA Caucus. His current research centres on questions of global responses to transnational health issues. In particular, he is interested in understanding the conditions under which states and non-state actors are willing to collaborate to address infectious disease outbreaks and to sustain international organisations and regimes focused on global health. This takes the form of researching the processes of norm internalisation within the International Health Regulations, examining efforts to reform the World Health Organization in the aftermath of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, and considering the role of the English School's notion of international society in explaining the emergence of global health cooperation over the past generation.

Date & time

Thu 21 Sep 2017, 12am


L.J. Hume Centre, Copland Building (24)


Dr Jeremy Youde, College of Asia and the Pacific, ANU


Jessica Genauer


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