“This book tells the story of how the fragile and still-uncertain machinery of global health security was cobbled together over a two-decade period, beginning in the early 1990s. It is neither a heroic account of visionary planning by enlightened health authorities, nor a sinister story of the securitization of disease by an ever-expansive governmental apparatus. Rather, it is a story of the assemblage of disparate elements – adapted from fields such as civil defense, emergency management and international public health – by well-meaning experts and officials, and of response failures that have typically led, in turn, to reforms that seek to strengthen or refocus the apparatus. The analysis centers on the ways that authorities – whether public health officials, national security experts, life scientists, or other privileged observers – conceptualize and act on an encroaching future of disease emergence. This uncertain future can be taken up and made into an object of present intervention according to multiple rationalities: as an object of probabilistic calculation, as a specter that must be avoided through precautionary intervention, or as a potential catastrophe that cannot be evaded but can only be prepared for. In the chapters that follow, we see howthese various logics come into tension or combine in response to actual and anticipated disease emergencies.”–Provided by publisher.
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