Managing the Dead as Part of Disaster Response: A Matter for Health Security in the Asia-Pacific Region?
Special Issue: Health Security Policy and Politics: Contemporary and Future Dilemmas, Published In Australian Journal of International Affairs (2018), vol. 47, no. 6, pp. 551-556
30 Pages Posted: 12 Mar 2019
Date Written: October 03, 2018
This paper explores the relationship between securitisation and desecuritisation in the context of managing threats to health, drawing on a case study which examines the management of dead bodies in the context of disaster response in the Asia-Pacific region. While securitisation of health threats may assist in galvanising political action to address capacity, infrastructure and resource constraints, it is vital that the shift towards desecuritisation takes place once the immediate threat is under control. This is because desecuritisation is likely to create an environment in which established humanitarian, public health and forensic procedures and practices for addressing such threats can proceed in the context of normal politics. It will also offer greater flexibility for pursuing post-threat resilience strategies which will enhance individual and collective health and wellbeing, which may in turn address broader human security concerns. Conceptualised in this way, resilience should be seen not merely as a strategy for resisting or adapting to a securitised situation but also as a key strategy to be deployed in the context of desecuritisation.
Keywords: Health Security, Securitisation, Desecuritisation, Disasters, Disaster Victim Identification, Dead Bodies, Politics, Regulation, Asia-Pacific
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