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
3. Power over Life: Biosecurity as Biopolitics
Part 2: Implementing Biosecurity
4. Governing Biosecurity
5. Legal Frameworks for Biosecurity
6. Biosecurity: Whose Knowledge Counts?
Gareth Enticott and Katy Wilkinson
7. Biosecurity Management Practices: Determining and Delivering a Response
Part 3: Biosecurity and Geopolitics
8. A Neoliberal Biosecurity? The WTO, Free Trade and the Governance of Plant Health
9. Viral Geopolitics: Biosecurity and Global Health Governance
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
12. Introducing Aliens, Re-introducing Natives: A Conflict of Interest for Biosecurity?
13. The Insecurity of Biosecurity: Re-making Emerging Infectious Diseases
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 science and politics asks some very difficult questions about what we need to do, why and how. The emphasis throughout is on managing risk but complex interactions demonstrate just how confusing this whole area is – not simply in terms of what actions are needed to reach our management objectives but how powerful different agendas (not least those of Business and "Homeland Security") are likely to make some sensible resolutions almost impossible to achieve. The editors also remind us finally that climate change is taking much of the choice out of our hands."
– David Walton, The BES Bulletin 45(2), June 2014