1st Edition

Biosecurity The Socio-Politics of Invasive Species and Infectious Diseases

Edited By Andrew Dobson, Kezia Barker, Sarah L. Taylor Copyright 2013
    256 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    256 Pages 5 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Biosecurity is the assessment and management of potentially dangerous infectious diseases, quarantined pests, invasive (alien) species, living modified organisms, and biological weapons. It is a holistic concept of direct relevance to the sustainability of agriculture, food safety, and the protection of human populations (including bio-terrorism), the environment, and biodiversity. Biosecurity is a relatively new concept that has become increasingly prevalent in academic, policy and media circles, and needs a more comprehensive and inter-disciplinary approach to take into account mobility, globalisation and climate change. 

    In this introductory volume, biosecurity is presented as a governance approach to a set of concerns that span the protection of indigenous biological organisms, agricultural systems and human health, from invasive pests and diseases. It describes the ways in which biosecurity is understood and theorized in different subject disciplines, including anthropology, political theory, ecology, geography and environmental management. It examines the different scientific and knowledge practices connected to biosecurity governance, including legal regimes, ecology, risk management and alternative knowledges. The geopolitics of biosecurity is considered in terms of health, biopolitics and trade governance at the global scale. Finally, biosecurity as an approach to actively secure the future is assessed in the context of future risk and uncertainties, such as globalization and climate change.

    Part 1: Framing Biosecurity 

    1. Introduction: Interrogating Bio-insecurities 

    Kezia Barker, Sarah Taylor and Andrew Dobson 

    2. A World in Peril? The Case for Containment 

    Daniel Simberloff 

    3. Power over Life: Biosecurity as Biopolitics 

    Bruce Braun 

    Part 2: Implementing Biosecurity 

    4. Governing Biosecurity 

    Andrew Donaldson 

    5. Legal Frameworks for Biosecurity 

    Opi Outhwaite 

    6. Biosecurity: Whose Knowledge Counts? 

    Gareth Enticott and Katy Wilkinson 

    7. Biosecurity Management Practices: Determining and Delivering a Response 

    John Mumford 

    Part 3: Biosecurity and Geopolitics 

    8. A Neoliberal Biosecurity? The WTO, Free Trade and the Governance of Plant Health 

    Clive Potter 

    9. Viral Geopolitics: Biosecurity and Global Health Governance 

    Alan Ingram 

    10. Biosecurity and Bio-terror: Reflections on a Decade 

    Brian Rappert and Filippa Lentzos 

    Part 4: Transgressing Biosecurity 

    11. Biosecurity and Ecology: Beyond the Nativism Debate 

    Juliet Fall 

    12. Introducing Aliens, Re-introducing Natives: A Conflict of Interest for Biosecurity?

    Henry Buller 

    13. The Insecurity of Biosecurity: Re-making Emerging Infectious Diseases 

    Stephen Hinchliffe 

    14. Conclusion: Biosecurity, the Future and the Impact of Climate Change 

    Sarah Taylor, Andrew Dobson, and Kezia Barker


    Andrew Dobson is Professor of Politics at Keele University, UK. 

    Kezia Barker is Lecturer in Science and Environmental Studies at Birkbeck, University of London, UK. 

    Sarah L. Taylor is Lecturer in Ecology and Programme Director of Biology at Keele University, UK.

    "This mixture of science, law, social sciences, politics, asks some very difficult questions about what we need to do, why and how. The emphasis throughout is on managing risk but complex demonstrate just how confusing this whole area is…"David Walton, BES Bulletin