Biosecurity Interventions

Global Health and Security in Question

Edited by Andrew Lakoff and Stephen J. Collier

Columbia University Press

Biosecurity Interventions

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Pub Date: October 2008

ISBN: 9780231146067

312 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $45.00£33.00

Pub Date: October 2008

ISBN: 9780231511773

312 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $44.99£33.00

Biosecurity Interventions

Global Health and Security in Question

Edited by Andrew Lakoff and Stephen J. Collier

Columbia University Press

In recent years, new disease threats—such as SARS, avian flu, mad cow disease, and drug-resistant strains of malaria and tuberculosis—have 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.

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

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
1. The Problem of Securing Health, by Stephen J. Collier and Andrew Lakoff
2. From Population to Vital System: National Security and the Changing Object of Public Health, by Andrew Lakoff
3. Redesigning Syndromic Surveillance for Biosecurity, by Lyle Fearnley
4. How Did the Smallpox Vaccination Program Come About? Tracing the Emergence of Recent Smallpox Vaccination Thinking, by Dale A. Rose
5. Disease as Security Threat: Critical Reflections on the Global TB Emergency, by Erin Koch
6. Vital Mobility and the Humanitarian Kit, by Peter Redfield
7. Mapping the Multiplicities of Biosecurity, by Nick Bingham and Steve Hinchliffe
8. From Mad Cow Disease to Bird Flu: Transformations of Food Safety in France, by Frédéric Keck
9. Biodefense: Considering the Sociotechnical Dimension, by Kathleen M. Vogel
10. Anticipations of Biosecurity, by Carlo Caduff
Afterword. Episodes or Incidents: Seeking Significance, by Paul Rabinow
Acknowledgments
List of Contributors
Index

About the Author

Andrew Lakoff is associate professor of anthropology, sociology and communication at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry, and coeditor, with Stephen J. Collier, of Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question. His current research concerns the intersection between global health and national security in the development of approaches to new biological and environmental threats.