This unit assesses the political and security significance of disease-related events and developments. Whether one contemplates historical experiences with smallpox, the contemporary challenges posed by diseases such as HIV/AIDS and SARS, or the risks arising from new scientific developments such as synthetic biology, it is clear that diseases exercise a powerful influence over civilised humankind. The unit concentrates on areas in which human health and security concerns intersect most closely, including: biological weapons; fast-moving disease outbreaks of natural origin; safety and security in microbiology laboratories; and the relationships between infectious disease patterns, public health capacity, state functioning and violent conflict. The overall aim of the unit is to provide students with a stronger understanding of the scientific and political nature of these problems, why and how they might threaten security, and the conceptual and empirical connections between them.
1x1.5hr lecture/week, 1x1.5hr seminar/week
1x1000wd Issue brief (35%), 1x3000wd Research essay (50%), 1x500wd Self-evaluation (15%)