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Abstract

The recent Ebola crisis has re-opened the debate on global health governance and the role of the World Health Organization. In order to analyze what is at stake, we apply two conceptual approaches from the social sciences - the work on gridlock and the concept of cosmopolitan moments - to assess the ability of the multilateral governance system to reform. We find that gridlock can be broken open by a health crisis which in turn generates a political drive for change. We show that a set of cosmopolitan moments have led to the introduction of the imperative of health in a range of policy arenas and moved health into ‘high politics’ - this has been called a political revolution. We contend that this revolution has entered a second phase with increasing interest of heads of state in global health issues.Here lies the window of opportunity to reform global health governance.

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