“Technologies of Reflexivity”: Generating Biopolitics and Institutional Risk to Supplement Global Public Health Security
Published online by Cambridge University Press: 06 December 2017
Critiques of global public health security (GPHS) and proposed solutions tend to overlook the potential of the individuals and groups that are subject to and governed by GPHS – “the governed” – to contribute their “on the ground” knowledge and experience to decision-making in order to improve regulatory responses. This article argues for the development of a more reflexive approach as a way of ensuring the epistemic integration of these knowledges with the scientific-technical knowledges that currently dominate decision-making processes. I identify human rights as the conceptual lens that is most likely to enable reflexivity by the governed and regulators, and understanding and communication between them. The governed can use perceived or actual breaches of human rights to articulate “on the ground” knowledges as institutional risks to reputation and standing and, in turn, threaten the production and legitimation of organisational identity, socio-political orders and projects of rule. The particular sensitivity of regulators to these risks could compel epistemic integration. This more reflexive approach to GPHS promises to improve the knowledge base, efficacy, accountability and legitimacy of decision-making at multiple levels: WHO, EU, national and “on the ground”.
- European Journal of Risk Regulation , Volume 8 , Special Issue 4: Special Issue on the EU Public-Health-Security Nexus , December 2017 , pp. 658 - 685
- © Cambridge University Press
Queen’s University Belfast. Many thanks to the participants in the seminar “Germs, Bioterrorism and Chemical Attacks: Internal and External EU Security Perspectives”, Brussels, 21–22 November 2016, where the earliest draft of this article was presented, and to James Revill for his comments as discussant. Thanks to the editors of this special issue, the peer reviewers and to Richard Ashcroft, Colm O’Cinneide, Markus Frischhut, Colin Harvey and Anne-Marie McAlinden for their comments and suggestions.
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150 For discussion, see Flear, supra, note 17, Ch 2 “EU Public Health Governance”, 56–63.
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159 Murphy, T, Health and Human Rights (Hart, 2013)Google Scholar Ch 1 “Health and Human Rights”, 30.
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162 Hunt, P and Backman, G, “Health Systems and the Right to the Highest Attainable Standard of Health” (2008) 10(1) Health and Human Rights: An International Journal 81 CrossRefGoogle Scholar; De Negri, A, “A Human Rights Approach to Quality of Life and Health: Applications to Public Health Programming” (2008) 10(1) Health and Human Rights: An International Journal 93 .
163 For discussion, see Flear, supra, note 17, Ch 6 “Citizen Participation in Governing”.
164 Lazarus, L and Goold, BJ, “Security and Human Rights: The Search for a Language of Reconciliation” in BJ Goold and L Lazarus (eds), Security and Human Rights (Hart, 2007)Google Scholar; Loader, I and Walker, N, Civilising Security (Cambridge University Press, 2007); Von Tigerstrom, Ba, Human Security and International Law: Prospects and Problems (Hart, 2007).
165 Ashcroft, supra, note 160, 640.
166 Murphy, supra, note 159, Ch 2 “Is Human Rights Prepared?”.
169 J Osborn, Harvard Law School and François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights Workshop, Economic and Social Rights and the Right to Health, September 1993, available at <www.law.harvard.edu/programs/HRP/Publications/economic1.html> and <hrp.law.harvard.edu/wp-content/uploads/2013/08/EconomicandSocialRightsandtheRighttoHealth.pdf>, 8.
171 See Murphy, supra, note 159, Ch 2 “Is Human Rights Prepared?”.
173 Douglas and Wildavsky, supra, note 43, 6.
177 Brownsword, R and Yeung, K (eds), Regulating Technologies: Legal Futures, Regulatory Frames and Technological Fixes (Hart, 2008)Google Scholar; Elbe, S, Security and Global Health: Toward the Medicalisation of Insecurity (Polity Press, 2010); Jasanoff, supra, note 1.