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date: 13 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter explores the ideas, concepts, norms, and agendas that have shaped the structures and actors governing the field of pandemic influenza preparedness. It begins by tracing the historical origins of the disease, then discusses the World Health Organization’s attempts to better respond to influenza pandemics through the development of biomedical knowledge and tools. The chapter then examines how, since the end of the Cold War, pandemic influenza has gained new prominence, in part as a result of its portrayal as a social, economic and political ‘threat’, which has prompted a transformation in the governance arrangements regarding the disease. The governance of pandemic influenza thus serves as a microcosm of the trends, actors, challenges and obstacles confronting global health governance more broadly.

Keywords: pandemic influenza, EBM, vaccines, antivirals, global health governance

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