A multidimensional account of social justice for global health research
A transformation of global health research is urgently needed if it is to eliminate long-standing structural inequities within the field and help reduce global health disparities. Ethics has a key role to play in fostering such a transformation: it can help identify what the transformation should entail. Yet, ethics scholarship linking global health research to greater equity and social justice has limited authority and capacity to do so for two related reasons: it largely fails to apply theories and concepts of justice from the global South and it says little about whether or how to address the coloniality and epistemic injustices inherent within global health research. This paper develops a multidimensional social justice lens using social justice and decolonial theory from the global North and global South. This lens identifies five core dimensions of social justice: power, recognition, harmony, inclusion, and well-being. This paper then applies the multidimensional lens to the global health research context. For each dimension of social justice, several key ways to transform global health research are identified and described. They include shifting control of global health research funding, education, conduct, and publishing away from the global North and making knowledge from the global South visible and valued. To conclude, potential objections are considered.
Pratt, B. (2023). A multidimensional account of social justice for global health research. Bioethics, 37, 624–636. https://doi.org/10.1111/bioe.13186