Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 06 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines and critiques how diseases have come to be seen as national and international security threats, beginning with a brief look at the long history of disease as a threat to societies, then turning to deepening linkages between disease and national security in the post–Cold War era. It then examines four health threats that have entered Western security agendas since the 1990s: emerging infectious diseases, HIV/AIDS, bioterrorism, and drug-resistant infections, focusing on how the public health and security communities have combined to construct these particular health problems as security threats. The chapter also examines some apparent benefits of framing diseases as security threats. The final section discusses critiques of the securitisation of health, noting that these point to the need for policymakers to grapple with deeply political trade-offs regarding how much “security” from health threats we want and what we will sacrifice to get it.

Keywords: national security, infectious disease, HIV/AIDS, bioterrorism, emerging infectious diseases, antimicrobial resistance, securitisation

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.