Conflict, Instability, and Health Security

Authored by: Frank L. Smith

Routledge Handbook of Global Health Security

Print publication date:  August  2014
Online publication date:  August  2014

Print ISBN: 9780415645478
eBook ISBN: 9780203078563
Adobe ISBN: 9781136155574


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Health and security both involve survival and so these concepts are deeply intertwined; they probably have been since our ancestors first started to fear death. While we each may experience health most acutely as individuals, the association between individual health and the well-being of social groups – including the metaphorical “body politic” – is also ancient and powerful. Sometimes this association is no mere metaphor. Infectious diseases have threatened national and international security throughout our history, just as conflict and instability have long spread diseases and threatened human health in other ways. These interactions have been documented at least since Thucydides described the Plague of Athens during the Peloponnesian War.

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