Global public health 2017 09 13() 1-11 doi 10.1080/17441692.2017.1371203
Successive global health crises – from HIV and AIDS to SARS and H5N1 to Ebola – highlight one of the most pressing challenges to global health security: the GAP – the governance accountability problem. Introduced in 2014 in the book entitled, HIV/AIDS and the South African state: The responsibility to respond, this article takes up Alan Whiteside’s challenges, in a book review in these pages, to offer a more comprehensive analysis of the GAP. The GAP [Šehović, A. B. (2014). HIV/AIDS and the South African state: The responsibility to respond. Ashgate Global Health.] posits that there is a disconnect between ad hoc, state and non-state interventions to respond to an epidemic crisis, and the ultimate guarantee for health (security), which remains legally vested with the state. The existence and expansion of such ad hoc solutions result in a negligence: a failure of re-ordering of health rights and responsibilities for health between such actors and the accountable state. The GAP aims to highlight this disjunction. This article first defines the GAP. Second, it asks two questions: First, what is the contribution of the GAP thesis to understanding the emerging health security landscape? Second, what can the GAP offer in terms of practical insight into viable solutions to the re-ordering of state/non-state-based responsibility and accountability for global health security?