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Ryerson University
CRM 324
Alexandra Orlova

FINAL EXAMWorth 70 points 35 of final grade 3 hours 3 essay questionsFirst 30 points mandatoryWhy have infectious diseases been placed on the security agenda and what is the impact of such securitization on individuals living with those diseasesInfectious diseases have been placed on the security agenda for several reasons The most general issue is the issue of devastation and control To put it plainly infectious diseases are an immense threat They are a nontraditional security threat and a nonstate threat so they are not contained by physical borders and they are not necessarily in control As Sophal Ear writes emerging infectious diseases pose international security threats because of their potential to inflict harm upon humans crops livestock health infrastructure and economics including tradetravel There is also the danger that infectious diseases such as a pandemic influenza can be transmitted easily and all populations would be equally susceptible Another forceful push for securitizing infectious diseases is political in the sense that the security agenda is state and organizationdriven as suggested by Fidler and Davies The World Health Organization WHO have constructed infectious diseases as an existential security threat that requires new rules and behaviours for its effective containment which is based of western fears of an outbreakThis desire to assert its authority in the project of disease surveillance and containment has led them to develop global health mechanisms that primarily prioritizes the protection of western states from disease contagion Western states in turn have been quick to engage with this discourse while developing states are often absentThe political agenda of the West has been the biggest contributing factor to the securitization of infectious diseases as the concerns of western states have seemingly always taken precedence The increased awareness of western states during the 1990s that infectious disease posed a potential threat to its citizens let to the emergence of infectious diseases as an item on national security agendas The securitization of infectious diseases led western states to increase their support for surveillance and response measures Diseases like SARS and H1N1 proved the world could not escape potential epidemic influenza with the potential to kill millions of people thus calling for an increase of attention and calls for infectious disease to be targeted as threats to national security Because of the threat to western countries economic and political stability western governments became encouraged to develop response in national security terms Fidler provides three reasons for Americas increasingly scrutinized response to infectious disease The first was bioterrorism When it was widely believed that new treatments vaccines and knowledge would lead to eradicating infectious diseases as a major cause of death When it was found that disease such as HIVAIDS and stronger microberesistant pathogens such as malaria and TB spread the fear of bioterrorism also grew After the events of 911 and the anthrax attacks much of the focus shifted to perceived threats from biological weapons potentially wielded by terrorist organizations or rogue statesBioterrorism can be especially appealing to such groups due to the potential for causing harm to mass populations and the relatively low cost of such weapons As we saw in the documentary we also must consider the organic nature of infectious diseases and the potential for bioterrorism The organic nature of infectious diseases allows for different strains and adaptations For example the H5N1 bird flu originating in China was only contracted if you came into contact with an infected bird Scientists were able to study this particular disease and mutate it so that the disease could actually be airborne through an experiment tested on ferrets The evolution was inevitable but the research was not permitted to be published for fear that somebody would use this information for terrorist purposes
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