Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Assembling European health security: Epidemic intelligence and the hunt for cross-border health threats
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History and International Relations.
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Economic History and International Relations. Swedish Institute of International Affairs, Sweden.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1903-4257
2019 (English)In: Security Dialogue, ISSN 0967-0106, E-ISSN 1460-3640, Vol. 50, no 2, p. 115-130Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The securitization of health concerns within the European Union has hitherto received scant attention compared to other sectors. Drawing on the conceptual toolbox of actor-network theory, this article examines how a ‘health security assemblage’ rooted in EU governance has emerged, expanded, and stabilized. At the heart of this assemblage lies a particular knowledge regime, known as epidemic intelligence (EI): a vigilance-oriented approach of early detection and containment drawing on web-scanning tools and other informal sources. Despite its differences compared to entrenched traditions in public health, EI has, in only a decade’s time, gained central importance at the EU level. EI is simultaneously constituted by, and performative of, a particular understanding of health security problems. By ‘following the actor’, this article seeks to account for how EI has made the hunt for potential health threats so central that detection and containment, rather than prevention, have become the preferred policy options. This article draws out some of the implications of this shift.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 50, no 2, p. 115-130
Keywords [en]
Actor-network theory, critical security studies, epidemic intelligence, European Union, health security, materiality
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Research subject
Economic History
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-166336DOI: 10.1177/0967010618813063ISI: 000461439500001OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-166336DiVA, id: diva2:1291297
Available from: 2019-02-24 Created: 2019-02-24 Last updated: 2019-04-12Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Health security in the European Union: Agents, practices and materialities of securitization
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Health security in the European Union: Agents, practices and materialities of securitization
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Over the past two decades, the notion of ‘health security’ has emerged as a central tenet of European Union (EU) public health policy. This PhD thesis examines the rise and implications of health security cooperation, associated with an imperative to fight ‘bioterrorist attacks’, pandemics and other natural or man-made events. The study is composed of an introductory chapter as well as five related but self-contained papers, based on participant observation and 52 in-depth interviews at the European Commission as well as the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC). More specifically, the thesis as a whole explores how security perspectives mattered in different ways for the rise and implications of health security cooperation in the EU. Unlike previous studies which have tended to focus on normative aspects and overarching global dynamics, the thesis examines drivers, contradictions and tensions in a particular, highly institutionalized context. In order to answer a set of empirically motivated questions, the papers draw on various understandings of securitization in critical security studies. The over-all findings cast light on the emergence of a new way of understanding health problems as rapidly emerging, and often external, ‘cross-border threats to health’. The latter may include major infectious disease outbreaks, but also deliberate or accidental release of chemical or biological substances, natural disasters or any other unknown event assumed to threaten not only public health but society as a whole. In the search for potential crises, these are to be rapidly detected and contained rather than prevented in line with traditional public health policy. Partly arising from political speech acts after September 11 as well as bureaucratic practices carving out a role for the EU in public health, these new priorities have also been shaped by EU-specific digital surveillance tools, information sharing platforms and methodologies for managing risk. The findings also point to forms of reflexivity and instances of contestation within the EU institutions themselves, especially in relation to migrant health. As a whole, the thesis thus contributes empirically to a better understanding of how both health and security have come to be pursued within the EU institutions. Theoretically it highlights how approaches to securitization, drawn from partially different scholarly traditions, can be employed as empirically sensitive analytical tools and thereby add to a better understanding of the full prism of securitization processes.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Department of Economic History and International Relations, Stockholm University, 2019. p. 43
Series
Stockholm Studies in International Relations, ISSN 2003-1343 ; 2
Keywords
Health security, securitization, critical security studies, European Union, public health
National Category
Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
International Relations
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:su:diva-167276 (URN)978-91-7797-704-9 (ISBN)978-91-7797-705-6 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-06-05, Nordenskiöldsalen, Geovetenskapens hus, Svante Arrhenius väg 12, Stockholm, 09:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-05-13 Created: 2019-03-25 Last updated: 2019-05-09Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Publisher's full text

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Bengtsson, LouiseRhinard, Mark
By organisation
Department of Economic History and International Relations
In the same journal
Security Dialogue
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 128 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf