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- ISBN: 9780415645478 | 0415645476
- Cover: Hardcover
- Copyright: 9/3/2014
This new Handbook presents an overview of cutting-edge research in the growing field of global health security. Over the past decade, the study of global health has become an increasingly mainstream part of the International Relations agenda. Over the same period, scholars working in Public Health have begun to investigate the politics of global public health in more depth than ever before. The coming together of these two scholarly communities has resulted in the creation of a vibrant, cross-disciplinary and rapidly-growing field of research. One of the major themes apparent in this scholarly literature has been an examination of the linkages between security and health. This has been an area of lively debate, with discussions ongoing over the appropriate conceptualisation of 'health security'; which (if any) health issues should be treated as security threats; what should be done to address health security threats; and the positive and negative consequences of 'securitizing' health. In raising these questions, the academic literature has been critically reflecting on an emergent policy discourse in which states and other actors have increasingly been discussing and addressing selected health issues in security terms. Again, this has come from both sides of the health/security divide: security policy communities have added health (especially infectious disease threats) to their remits; and the Public Health community has attempted to leverage securitization in order to gain increased attention and resources for health issues. The health security field is, then, a timely and dynamic one in both academic and policy terms - an area of significant contemporary interest for scholars, students and policy-makers alike. This handbook would be the first work comprehensively to address the health security agenda. Bringing together the leading experts and commentators on health security issues from across the world, the volume comprises original and cutting-edge essays addressing the key issues in the field and also highlighting currently neglected avenues for future research. Aimed at an audience spanning academic researchers, postgraduate and advanced undergraduate students and policymakers and professionals, the book is intended to provide an accessible yet sophisticated introduction to the key topics and debates. The book is organized into four sections. Section I addresses some of the fundamental conceptual issues, including the historical links between health and security and the various ways of conceptualising health as a security issue. Section II focuses upon those health issues which have been most frequently discussed in security terms in the academic and policy discourses, in each case identifying the ways in which those issues have been discussed in 'health security' terms, and assessing the evidence for and consequences of addressing them through a security lens. Section III of the book examines the wide range of contemporary security-driven responses to health threats, from state pandemic preparedness programmes to the various global efforts to mitigate health risk. Section IV takes a step back from these discussions, unpacking some of the major controversies which have attended the securitization of health, not least those concerns about its impact on rights and justice, as well as the potential distortion of the global health agenda. The volume will not take a position in the ongoing pro/anti-securitization debate. Rather it deliberately brings in authors from both sides of that debate, and those authors will be given the freedom to take their own position on the issues within their chapters. This book will of great interest to students of global health security, public health, critical security studies, and International Relations in general.