Functions, limits and impact on the territory

The project aims to deepen the study of the World Health Organization (WHO) and of its role in the management of the current health emergency by establishing a dialogue between the Centers and Departments that deal with legal disciplines, social sciences and biology at the University of Trento.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, the WHO has published over 100 technical documents. These documents have been employed by States and private actors around the world to shape their policies for the containment and the prevention of the contagion. In May 2020, the WHO further adopted the "Covid-19 Response" resolution, calling upon member States, international organizations and stakeholders to establish a coordinated response to the Covid-19 emergency.
In this context, the analysis of the decision-making processes, the legal instruments, and the technical-scientific documents adopted by the WHO appears crucial to understand what are the obligations, the practices and the responsibilities of the States, the territorial entities within the States (i.e. Autonomous Province of Trento), healthcare workers and institutions, and of private actors (i.e. pharmaceutical industry) in the management of health emergencies.
The project will also consider current criticisms to the WHO. For example, some States have highlighted that funds from private actors and some other States risk compromising the effectiveness of the WHO’s action. Criticisms also concerned the accuracy of the technical indications adopted by the WHO. These aspects risk undermining the credibility of the WHO and shall be considered in light of future reforms of the Organization.

Research Team

  • Ludovica Di Lullo (Post-doc Fellow) (School of International Studies, University of Trento)
  • Irene Landini (Post-doc Fellow) (School of International Studies, University of Trento)
  • Giuseppe Nesi (School of International Studies, University of Trento)
  • Marco Pertile (PI) (School of International Studies, University of Trento)
  • Louisa R. Parks (School of International Studies, University of Trento)


University of Trento, Covid-19 Research Call.