Global Health and Security in Question
In recent years, new disease threatssuch as SARS, avian flu, mad cow disease, and drug-resistant strains of malaria and tuberculosishave garnered media attention and galvanized political response. Proposals for new approaches to "securing health" against these threats have come not only from public health and medicine but also from such fields as emergency management, national security, and global humanitarianism.
This volume provides a map of this complex and rapidly transforming terrain. The editors focus on how experts, public officials, and health practitioners work to define what it means to "secure health" through concrete practices such as global humanitarian logistics, pandemic preparedness measures, vaccination campaigns, and attempts to regulate potentially dangerous new biotechnologies.
As the contributions show, despite impressive activity in these areas, the field of "biosecurity interventions" remains unstable. Many basic questions are only beginning to be addressed: Who decides what counts as a biosecurity problem? Who is responsible for taking action, and how is the efficacy of a given intervention to be evaluated? It is crucial to address such questions today, when responses to new problems of health and security are still taking shape. In this context, this volume offers a form of critical and reflexive knowledge that examines how technical efforts to increase biosecurity relate to the political and ethical challenges of living with risk.
"a thought-provoking volume that provides an important look into how far-reaching biosecurity is, while illustrating the ambiguities that still remain." — Somatosphere
"Provides insight into the complexity behind what it means to 'secure health.'" — Sonja Kittelsen, Journal of Peace Research
"The essays collected here display an extravagant range, depth, and scale of insights, reflections, and explorations covering an extensive array of topics. Chapters cluster around the question of what to make of a burgeoning constellation of experts and the frequently incongruous (or inconclusive) claims to expertise that these experts produce. We learn about a vast range of incidents and episodes. We learn of the ever accelerating expansion of expertise and more expertise and the war-like rumblings of diverse organizational contests over territory and authority. Reading these chapters in and of themselves provides an education. They are instructive about the knowledge-dependence of major sectors of the contemporary world and how these knowledge-dependent sectors interface with and ramify from the micropractices of everyday life as well as strategic global initiatives." — from the epilogue by Paul Rabinow, professor of anthropology, University of California, Berkeley