Power in Global Nutrition Governance

A Critical Analysis of the Establishment of the Scaling Up Nutrition (SUN) Partnership

In: Global Governance: A Review of Multilateralism and International Organizations
Author: Ann Louise Lie1
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  • 1 University of OsloCentre for Development and the Environment
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Global public-private partnerships for health and nutrition have proliferated since the 1990s—a trend raising important questions about authority and legitimacy in global governance. Yet within the fields of international relations and public health, there has been only limited empirical research into the global politics and power dynamics behind such partnerships. This article explores how and why the Scaling Up Nutrition partnership was established. Drawing on interviews, observations, and document analysis, it demonstrates how public and private actors exercise combinations of instrumental, structural, and discursive power to normalize and institutionalize their interests and values at the global level. The study highlights as such the complexities behind the increased privatization of global nutrition governance and the importance of power analysis to uncover the normative contestations and asymmetries of power behind global partnership creation.

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