Beyond Health Security

‘Global health security’ emerged in the last decade, framing reactions to new risks posed by emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. These include Ebola and the threat of pandemic influenza. Linked to concepts of national security (eg military security and border protection), security approaches justify short-term interventions to contain problems. Responses often focus more on protecting the global North against threats from the global South than on long term solutions to the problems of weak or non-existent health systems. We start from a concern that the current health security paradigm is too security focused and misses 'social' and human security. This project explores
  • The changing languages of security in global health policy. We will look at the permutations of security as an objective of global and national governance of health. In the 1990s solidarity-based social security models broadened into the UNDP’s developmental aims of ‘human security’. The latter stressed both individual security and universal objectives – the building of collective capabilities. These concepts of security have been displaced in the recent turn towards national security.
  • The meanings of these concepts at country level: a) what do people in an affected country think? b) How does the global debate shape the way agendas play out on the ground? c) How have perceived external threats reshaped the politics of health and welfare in wealthier countries?
The project contributes towards a new concept of global health security built on long term solutions, driven by local initiatives linked to sustainable development and global health solidarity.

Participants : 
  • UNIGE
    • Professor Antoine Flahault MD, PhD - Chair, Louis Jeantet in Public Health, Institute of Global Health
    • Dr Didier Wernli PhD, Institute of Global Health
    • Dr Emilien Jeannot MPH, Institute of Global Health
  • University of Sydney
    • A/Prof James Gillespie PhD - Menzies Centre for Health Policy, Sydney School of Public Health
    • A/Prof Joel Negin PhD - Sydney School of Public Health
    • Dr Carmen Huckel-Schneider PhD, Menzies Centre for Health Policy/ Sydney School of Public Health
  • External partners