Biosecurity: The Socio-Politics of Invasive Species and Infectious Diseases, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover


The Socio-Politics of Invasive Species and Infectious Diseases, 1st Edition

Edited by Andrew Dobson, Kezia Barker, Sarah L. Taylor


256 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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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.


"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

Table of Contents

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

About the Editors

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.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
NATURE / Environmental Conservation & Protection
POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Freedom & Security / Terrorism