Situating Biomedical and Professional Monopoly at the Intersections of Structural, Ideational and Agentic Power; Comment on “Power Dynamics Among Health Professionals in Nigeria: A Case Study of the Global Fund Policy Process”

Document Type : Commentary


School of Health & Social Care, University of Essex, Colchester, UK


Lassa and colleagues’ study is a strong commentary on the biomedical hegemony and professional monopoly of medical doctors in the policy landscape of the Global Fund in Nigeria. Situating this critical dimension of professional power within wider scholarship of power and governance of global health initiatives (such as the Global Fund), in this comment, I put forth two core arguments. I call for a relational perspective of power in a dynamic policy space that the Fund characterises. I argue that a systems-view analysis of power requires a thorough examination of subsystems, how they interact, and the diverse forms of power — individual agentic, ideational, and structural — and the mechanisms through which power is wielded. The lens of governmentality allows linking individual (expertise and practices) with institutional regimes and social practices these enable; and in examining the interface of local/sub-national, national, and global within which policy formulation and implementation occurs. 


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