Browsing by Author "Jacobs, Helena"
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- ItemThe intersection of health, states and security: global health security and the Ebola outbreak of 2014-15(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-12) Jacobs, Helena; Fourie, P. P.; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of Political Science.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: The concept of health security has been gaining prominence since the 1990s due to a renewed awareness of emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. The intersection between health, states and security is, however, a contested one. The central question raised by critics of the health security agenda is focused on the meaning and implications of the concept; specifically the aims, methods and values of health security. These questions boil down to “security for whom and security from what?” The answer many scholars come to is that global health security is concerned with the containment of potentially serious and rapidly spreading infectious diseases, and with disease surveillance. The point is made that the strengthening of surveillance for infectious diseases brings little benefit to any country which lacks the public health infrastructure necessary for an effective response. Health security is thus geared more towards outbreak containment rather than disease prevention. What this means is that global health security mechanisms become activated to contain infectious diseases and prevent them from spreading from their countries of origin. The burden of disease is consequently carried by developing nations which lack the capacity to address these epidemics. This classical conceptualisation of global health security therefore brings little benefit to developing nations. Andrew Lakoff (2010) theorises that the classical conceptualisation of global health security emphasises only one regime within Global Health Governance, and identifies a second regime “humanitarian biomedicine.” This regime aims to target diseases that currently afflict the poorer nations of the world in order to alleviate the suffering of individuals, regardless of national boundaries or social groupings. Humanitarian biomedicine offers a potential solution to the critique regarding what was left out of global health security. The aims of this study are to use Lakoff's thesis as a framework to explore how global health security initiatives play out in practice, what the aims of global health security initiatives are, what the methods by which attempts are made to reach these aims are, and what values underlie these interventions. The research question that this research investigates is thus whether the two regimes of global health security, as theorised by Lakoff, can be identified in practice in the event of an infectious disease outbreak such as the Ebola outbreak of 2014, and if so, what the implications or utility of a broader approach to global health security are. The main research question is supplemented by three sub-questions relating to (1) the implications of the development of a more humanitarian orientated global health security regime for developing states, (2) whether these two regimes can be complementary in practice as suggested by Lakoff and (3) what the existence of these two regimes provide in answer to the “security for whom, security from what?” question. It is found that two differing regimes can be identified in Global Health Governance initiatives during the Ebola outbreak. While aspects of a broader approach to global health security do exist, they are not the dominant considerations. The current configuration of Global Health Governance is not effective in addressing global health insecurity. A broader conceptualisation of health security that includes humanitarian concerns is thus necessary.