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Risk, insurance, preparedness and the disappearance of the population: The case of pandemic influenza

Risk, insurance, preparedness and the disappearance of the population: The case of pandemic... The Australian response to the threat of pandemic influenza is part of a broader shift in public health and governance. This shift in approach to risk – from insurance to preparedness – has been triggered by the emergence of incalculable, global, catastrophic risks. Familiar, insurance-driven approaches to governing risk work by intervening at the level of the population. However, incalculable risks of the scale posed by pandemic influenza exceed the scope of insurance. Now preparedness driven approaches are coming to the fore in public health. Preparedness focuses on protecting infrastructures and on guaranteeing the continuity of the political and economic order, and it entails discontinuous, temporal and localised expert responses. Importantly, this approach suggests that there is no need to look at the socio-historical contexts of disease; the population is of little direct concern. This, we suggest, raises doubts about how public health strategies which unfold in accordance with preparedness will recognise and tackle inequities. Finally, we consider the imperative to ‘secure the nation’ that preparedness brings to public health. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Health Sociology Review Taylor & Francis

Risk, insurance, preparedness and the disappearance of the population: The case of pandemic influenza

Health Sociology Review , Volume 18 (3): 14 – Oct 1, 2009
14 pages

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References (60)

Publisher
Taylor & Francis
Copyright
Copyright © 2009 eContent Management Pty Ltd
ISSN
1839-3551
eISSN
1446-1242
DOI
10.5172/hesr.2009.18.3.220
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The Australian response to the threat of pandemic influenza is part of a broader shift in public health and governance. This shift in approach to risk – from insurance to preparedness – has been triggered by the emergence of incalculable, global, catastrophic risks. Familiar, insurance-driven approaches to governing risk work by intervening at the level of the population. However, incalculable risks of the scale posed by pandemic influenza exceed the scope of insurance. Now preparedness driven approaches are coming to the fore in public health. Preparedness focuses on protecting infrastructures and on guaranteeing the continuity of the political and economic order, and it entails discontinuous, temporal and localised expert responses. Importantly, this approach suggests that there is no need to look at the socio-historical contexts of disease; the population is of little direct concern. This, we suggest, raises doubts about how public health strategies which unfold in accordance with preparedness will recognise and tackle inequities. Finally, we consider the imperative to ‘secure the nation’ that preparedness brings to public health.

Journal

Health Sociology ReviewTaylor & Francis

Published: Oct 1, 2009

Keywords: Risk; preparedness; sociology; pandemic influenza; public health; security

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