The Molecularisation of Security : Medical Countermeasures, Stockpiling and the Governance of Biological Threats book cover
1st Edition

The Molecularisation of Security
Medical Countermeasures, Stockpiling and the Governance of Biological Threats

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after September 24, 2021
ISBN 9780367683603
September 24, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
224 Pages

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Book Description

This book investigates the way that the molecular sciences are shaping contemporary security practices in relation to the governance of biological threats.

In response to biological threats, such as pandemics and bioterrorism, governments around the world have developed a range of new security technologies, called medical countermeasures, to protect their populations. This book argues that the molecular sciences’ influence has been so great that security practices have been molecularised. Focusing on the actions of international organisations and governments in the past two decades, this book identifies two contrasting conceptions of the nature or inherent workings of molecular life as driving this turn. On the one hand, political notions of insecurity have been shaped by the contingent or random nature of molecular life. On the other, the identification of molecular life’s constant biological dynamics supports and makes possible the development and stockpiling of effective medical countermeasures. This study is one of the few to take seriously the conceptual implications that the detailed empirical workings of biotechnology have on security practices today.

This book will be of much interest to students of security studies, bio-politics, life sciences, global governance, and International Relations in general.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction: The Molecular Vision of Life, Medical Countermeasures and (In)Security

2. Contingency, Insecurity and the Visualisation of Life at the Molecular Level

3. Preparedness and Governmental Support for Medical Countermeasure Development

4. Constant Biological Dynamics, Immunology and Magic Bullets

5. Process Biology and Medical Countermeasures to Combat Viral and Bacterial Threats

6. Conclusion: Rendering the Future Disease Threat Constant, Manipulable and Governable

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Christopher Long is currently a Leverhulme Early Career Fellow at the University of Sussex, UK.