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Biosecurity DilemmasBiosecurity Dilemmas

Dreaded Diseases, Ethical Responses, and the Health of Nations

Christian Enemark

Narrated by Lee David Foreman

Available from Audible

Book published by Georgetown University Press

Biosecurity Dilemmas examines conflicting values and interests in the practice of "biosecurity," the safeguarding of populations against infectious diseases through security policies. Biosecurity encompasses both the natural occurrence of deadly disease outbreaks and the use of biological weapons. Christian Enemark focuses on six dreaded diseases that governments and international organizations give high priority for research, regulation, surveillance, and rapid response: pandemic influenza, drug-resistant tuberculosis, smallpox, Ebola, plague, and anthrax. The book is organized around four ethical dilemmas that arise when fear causes these diseases to be framed in terms of national or international security: protect or proliferate, secure or stifle, remedy or overkill, and attention or neglect. For instance, will prioritizing research into defending against a rare event such as a bioterrorist attack divert funds away from research into commonly occurring diseases? Or will securitizing a particular disease actually stifle research progress owing to security classification measures? Enemark provides a comprehensive analysis of the ethics of securitizing disease and explores ideas and policy recommendations about biological arms control, global health security, and public health ethics.

Christian Enemark is Professor of International Relations at the University of Southampton in the United Kingdom. He is the author of two previous books, Disease and Security: Natural Plagues and Biological Weapons in East Asia and Armed Drones and the Ethics of War: Military Virtue in a Post-Heroic Age, and he is also coeditor of Ethics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control.


“By adding a strong normative and ethical dimension to the debates around the securitization of health, Christian Enemark's book advances the global health debate in thought-provoking ways that will intrigue both scholars and students. This is a timely and engaging addition to the global health politics literature.”

—Jeremy Youde, Chair, Global Health Section, International Studies Association Fellow, Department of International Relations, Australian National University

“A masterful and engaging account of the key biosecurity challenges confronting the world today. Biosecurity Dilemmas explores the vexing policy tensions and ethical trade-offs involved in protecting populations against biological danger. Enemark elegantly tames the complexity by showing that four major dilemmas lie at the heart of these issues. An impressive scholarly achievement.”

—Stefan Elbe, Director, Centre for Global Health Policy, University of Sussex

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University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks