par Genicot, Nathan
Référence International journal of law in context, 17, 2, page (186-203)
Publication Publié, 2021-06-10
Article révisé par les pairs
Résumé : The COVID-19 pandemic has given rise to the massive development and use of health indicators. Drawing on the history of international public health and of the management of infectious disease, this paper attempts to show that the normative power acquired by metrics during the pandemic can be understood in light of two rationales: epidemiological surveillance and performance assessment. On the one hand, indicators are established to evaluate and rank countries’ responses to the outbreak; on the other, the evolution of indicators has a direct influence on the content of public health policies. Although quantitative data are an absolute necessity for coping with such disasters, it is critical to bear in mind the inherent partiality and precarity of the information provided by health indicators. Given the growing importance of normative quantitative devices during the pandemic, and assuming that their influence is unlikely to decrease in the future, they call for close scrutiny.