Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question

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Overview

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.

Columbia University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Journal of Peace Research - Sonja Kittelsen
Provides insight into the complexity behind what it means to 'secure health.'
Somatosphere
a thought-provoking volume that provides an important look into how far-reaching biosecurity is, while illustrating the ambiguities that still remain.
Journal of Peace Research
Provides insight into the complexity behind what it means to 'secure health.'

— Sonja Kittelsen

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780231146067
  • Publisher: Columbia University Press
  • Publication date: 10/14/2008
  • Series: A Columbia / SSRC Book Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 312
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew Lakoff is associate professor in the Department of Sociology and the Program in Science Studies, University of California, San Diego. His book Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry examines epistemological debates on the source of mental disorders. His current work focuses on the development of techniques of preparedness among security experts in the United States.

Stephen J. Collier is assistant professor in the Graduate Program in International Affairs at the New School. He is coeditor of Global Assemblages: Technology, Politics, and Ethics as Anthropological Problems and is completing a book on urbanism, social modernity, and neoliberal reform in contemporary Russia entitled Post-Soviet Social: "Neoliberalism" after the Washington Consensus. Currently he is engaged in research on new approaches to risk mapping and systems vulnerability.

Columbia University Press

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