Contagion and Chaos: Disease, Ecology, and National Security in the Era of Globalization

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Overview

Historians from Thucydides to William McNeill have pointed to the connections between disease and civil society. Political scientists have investigated the relationship of public health to governance, introducing the concept of health security. In Contagion and Chaos, AndrewPrice-Smith offers the most comprehensive examination yet of disease through the lens of national security. Extending the analysis presented in his earlier book The Health of Nations, Price-Smith argues that epidemic disease represents a direct threat to the power of a state, eroding prosperity and destabilizing both its internal politics and its relationships with other states. He contends that the danger of an infectious pathogen to national security depends on lethality,transmissability, fear, and economic damage. Moreover, warfare and ecological change contribute to the spread of disease and act as "disease amplifiers." Price-Smith presents a series of case studies to illustrate his argument: the Spanish influenza pandemic of 1918-19 (about which he advances the controversial claim that the epidemic contributed to the defeat of Germany andAustria); HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa (he contrasts the worst-case scenario of Zimbabwe with the more stable Botswana); bovine spongiform encephalopathy (also known as mad cow disease); and theSARS contagion of 2002-03. Emerging infectious disease continues to present a threat to national and international security, Price-Smith argues, and globalization and ecological change only accelerate the danger.

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What People Are Saying

Anne Marie Kimball

"Andrew Price Smith has contributed a fascinating perspective on epidemics (historical and modern). He brings numerous disciplines to the table to throughtfully knit the best thinking in political science, economics, sociology, and public health together. The book expands our view of how epidemics and pandemics change our lives and history."--Ann Marie Kimball, Department of Health Services,
University of Washington, and author of Risky Trade: Infectious Disease in an Era of Global Trade

From the Publisher
"Andrew Price-Smith has contributed a fascinating perspective on epidemics (historical and modern). He brings numerous disciplines to the table to thoughtfully knit the best thinking in political science, economics, sociology, and public health together. The book expands our view of how epidemics and pandemics change our lives and history." Ann Marie Kimball, Department of Health Services, University of Washington, author of Risky Trade: Infectious Disease in an Era of Global Trade
Anne Marie Kimball
"Andrew Price Smith has contributed a fascinating perspective on epidemics (historical and modern). He brings numerous disciplines to the table to throughtfully knit the best thinking in political science, economics, sociology, and public health together. The book expands our view of how epidemics and pandemics change our lives and history."—Ann Marie Kimball,Department of Health Services, University of Washington, and author of Risky Trade: InfectiousDisease in an Era of Global Trade
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262662031
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 12/5/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 294
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Andrew T. Price-Smith is Assistant Professor in the Department of Political Science andDirector of the Project on Energy, Environment, and Global Security at The Colorado College. He is the author of The Health of Nations: Infectious Disease, Environmental Change, and TheirEffects on National Security and Development (MIT Press, 2002) and is the editor ofPlagues and Politics: Infectious Disease and International Policy

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1

1 Theory and Exegesis: On Health and the Body Politic 11

2 Epidemic Disease, History, and the State 33

3 Pandemic Influenza: On Sclerosis in Governance 57

4 HIV/AIDS, State Capacity, and National Security: Lessons from Zimbabwe 89

5 Mad Cows and Englishmen: BSE and the Politics of Discord 117

6 Epidemic of Fear: SARS and the Political Economy of Contagion in the Pacific Rim 139

7 War as a "Disease Amplifier" 159

8 On Health, Power, and Security 189

Conclusion 207

Notes 225

Bibliography 253

Index 275

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