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Understanding the Politics of Pandemic Scares

An Introduction to Global Politosomatics

Authors: Mika Aaltola Publisher: Taylor and Francis Publication date: 2012 Publication language: Angielski Number of pages: 217 Publication formats: EAN: 9781136650161 DOI: 10.4324/9780203805732 ISBN: 9781136650161 Category: Health & personal development Publisher's index: 9780203805732 Bibliographic note: -


Reactions to pandemics are unlike any other global emergency; with an emphasis on withdrawal and containment of the sight of the infected. Dealing with the historical and conceptual background of diseases in politics and international relations, this volume investigates the global political reaction to pandemic scares.

By evaluating anxiety and the political response to pandemics as a legitimisation of the modern state and its ability to protect its citizens from infectious disease, Understanding the Politics of Pandemic Scares examines the connection between international health governance and the emerging Western liberal world order. The case studies, including SARS, Bird Flu and Swine Flu, provide an understanding of how the world order, global health governance and people’s bodies interact to produce scares and panics. Aaltola introduces an innovative new concept of ‘politosomatics’ based on the relationship that links individual stress, strain, and fear with global circulations of power to evaluate increasingly global bio-political environments in which pandemics exist.

This book will be of interest to students and researchers of International Relations, Global Health, International Public Health and Global Health governance.


  • Understanding the Politics of Pandemic Scares An introduction to global politosomatics 7
  • Copyright 8
  • Contents 9
  • List of abbreviations 10
  • 1 Introduction 11
  • 2 Containments and compassions of pandemic dramas 28
  • 3 Understanding the Vortex of War and Disease 70
  • 4 Trajectory of a pandemic drama: ebbing and waning of the BSE crisis in 1996 98
  • 5 Vortexes of SARS:anxieties over global air mobility 121
  • 6 The pandemic geography of Avian Flu 153
  • 7 Beyond global public health 184
  • Notes 199
  • Bibliography 204
  • Index 216

Author's affiliation

Mika Aaltola: The Finnish Institue of International Affairs, Helsinki