Gates, GAVI and Giving: Philanthropic Foundations, Public-Private Partnerships and the Governing of Government
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International development has become an increasingly fragmented and complex undertaking, with private wealth assuming an increasingly important role. At the forefront of this group sits the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has put significant resources behind Public-Private Partnerships such as the Global Alliance for Vaccinations and Immunizations (GAVI). Utilizing Foucault’s concept of governmentality, this thesis argues that foundations are key catalysts in the formation of such globally oriented partnerships, a trend not indicative of a shift in power from multilateral organizations to non-state actors, but representative of changing rationalities and practices of the government of populations at a global scale. This position is contextualized through a case study of the GAVI Alliance, which demonstrates that in the process of governing specific populations, such conglomerations of public and private actors seek to modify the governmental practices of states, in what Dean (1999) refers to as the “government of government”.