Private actors, global health and learning the lessons of history

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2 Scopus citations


Private business and philanthropic organizations have played a prominent role in the response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa and the support of global health governance more broadly. While this involvement may appear to be novel or unprecedented, this article argues that this active role for private actors and philanthropies actually mirrors the historical experience of cross-border health governance in the first half of the twentieth century. By examining the experiences, roles and criticisms of the Rockefeller Foundation’s International Health Division and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, it is possible to identify potential opportunities for better cooperation between public and private actors in global health governance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-220
Number of pages18
JournalMedicine, Conflict and Survival
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.


  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Rockefeller Foundation
  • global health governance
  • philanthropic organizations
  • private actors


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