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
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.
Subjects: Health Sciences, Political Science
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