Security and Global Health
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Security and Global Health

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Every era, it is said, has its defining malady. What will be ours? Will it be a new human pandemic caused by an animal-borne infectious disease, such as swine flu? Will it be a lethal microbe like anthrax deliberately released by terrorists bent on causing mass civilian casualties? Or will it be one of our new 'lifestyle' diseases - the epidemics of smoking, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption that threaten to engulf modern societies? Perhaps our era will even be remembered for its tragic neglect of certain health issues - endemic diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS that continue to ravage millions in developing countries. In this book Stefan Elbe shows that in the new millennium international politics is no longer characterized by its preoccupation with a single disease, but precisely by its need to urgently confront what is now an epidemic of epidemics. Over the past decade a whole host of diverse global health issues have raised the highest levels of political concern, provoking governments and international institutions to tackle such health threats through the prism of security - be it national security, biosecurity, or human security.
This convergence between health issues and security concerns has also produced the new notion of health security, which has already begun to shape the way international health policy is formulated. The intersection of the worlds of health and security is beginning to change our very ideas of what security means and how it is achieved. At the outset of the twenty-first century, practising security increasingly demands that citizens become patients, that states resemble huge hospitals, and that security itself becomes a technology of medical control. It is this transformation of security, Elbe argues in an innovative and engaging re-conceptualization of the health-security nexus, that marks nothing short of the medicalization of security.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 200 pages
  • 136 x 212 x 20mm | 258.55g
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745643744
  • 9780745643748
  • 866,034

Back cover copy

Every era, it is said, has its defining malady. What will be ours?Will it be a new human pandemic caused by an animal-borneinfectious disease, such as swine flu? Will it be a lethal microbelike anthrax deliberately released by terrorists bent on causingmass civilian casualties? Or will it be one of our new'lifestyle' diseases - the epidemics of smoking, obesity and excessive alcohol consumption that threaten to engulfmodern societies? Perhaps our era will even be remembered for itstragic neglect of certain health issues - endemic diseases such asmalaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS that continue to ravage millionsin developing countries.

In this book Stefan Elbe shows that in the new millenniuminternational politics is no longer characterized by itspreoccupation with a single disease, but precisely by its need tourgently confront what is now an epidemic of epidemics. Over thepast decade a whole host of diverse global health issues haveraised the highest levels of political concern, provokinggovernments and international institutions to tackle such healththreats through the prism of security Ð be it nationalsecurity, biosecurity, or human security. This convergence betweenhealth issues and security concerns has also produced the newnotion of health security, which has already begun to shape the wayinternational health policy is formulated.

The intersection of the worlds of health and security is beginningto change our very ideas of what security means and how it isachieved. At the outset of the twenty-first century, practisingsecurity increasingly demands that citizens become patients, thatstates resemble huge hospitals, and that security itself becomes atechnology of medical control. It is this transformation ofsecurity, Elbe argues in an innovative and engagingre-conceptualization of the health-security nexus, that marksnothing short of the medicalization of security.
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Table of contents

* Acknowledgments * 1. Health Security: The Medicalization of Security in the 21st Century * 2. Microbes in the Sky: Pandemic Threats and National Security * 3. Poisoning Populations: Biosecurity and the Weaponization of Disease * 4. A Global Pharmacy for the Poor? Endemics and other Human Insecurities * 5. The Lifestyle Timebombs: Panics about Cigarettes, Fat and Alcohol * 6. Bodies as Battlefields: Medicalization and the Future of Health Security * References
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Review quote

'Overall, this is a very good book, containing sustaineddiscussions on important dimensions of health security. It has thepotential to inform transdisciplinary debates and provide foci forresearch in many areas.' International Sociology 'Professor Elbe has provided an important resource in thiswell-written and documented book E In it, he explores theevolution of human health security, its medicalization, and itslikely impact E Through a series of case examples, andreferences to the work of several of the best thinkers in thisfield, he develops his argument about the seemingly inexorablemarch of medicalization as the means of achieving human healthsecurity, and points to a future that is likely to be dominated bythe practice of technical medical approaches and pharmaceuticalinterventions.' Sarita Bhalotra, Brandeis University 'Every now and then a new book comes along that challenges us tothink more deeply about an issue, to consider more carefully thechoices we make and their impact. This book is just such a book.With this new work on the medicalization of security, Elbe has onceagain produced an insightful piece of work that will no doubt provea reference point for policy-makers, academics, practitioners, andstudents, for years to come.' Adam Kamradt-Scott, London School of Hygiene and TropicalMedicine 'This is an excellent book which provides an authoritativeintroduction to the subject coupled with a challenging and originalnew line of thinking about the problem of securing globalhealth.' Colin McInnes, Aberystwyth University 'Stefan Elbe has written a lucid and learned examination of thedebate surrounding the securitization of health in the modern era.A fascinating contribution to the increasingly salient discourse onhealth and global governance.' Andrew Price-Smith, The Colorado College
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About Stefan Elbe

Stefan Elbe is Professor in International Relations at the University of Sussex
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