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Global health security and regulating the diseased body

Professor Anne-Maree Farrell, La Trobe University, Australia Thursday 16 November, 13.15-14.00, School of Law, room 8.014


The Health & Human Rights Unit is delighted to host Professor Anne-Maree Farrell, who is visiting from La Trobe University, Australia. During her visit, Professor Farrell will deliver the following paper:

Title of talk: Global health security and regulating the diseased body

 †Summary: Recent infectious disease outbreaks with regional and global implications, such as those involving the West African Ebola virus and the Zika Virus in Brazil, led to multi-level responses at political, institutional and public health levels in order to minimise cross-border spread and to bring the outbreaks under control. At the heart of such outbreaks, however, are individuals with an infectious disease, who are embedded within specific familial and social relations, as well as legal contexts. These factors may influence local responses to diseased bodies, including treatment practices and rituals around management of the dead. Given the turn towards a security framing for managing infectious disease outbreaks, this paper explores how we should conceptualise the diseased body by reference to these contexts. It is argued that such framing promotes a construction of diseased bodies as securitized bodies to be managed primarily through medical, pharmaceutical and technological practices. This results in insufficient account being taken of social and legal embeddedness of such bodies, with the potential for adverse impact upon risk management, disaster response and recovery of local populations.