Filth and Failure: The Security Politics of Cholera

Christian Enemark

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


    This chapter explains the historical and contemporary impact of cholera on societal functioning, state capacity and international relations. Internal and external political dynamics are relevant to the question of whether this disease could plausibly be framed as a threat to national security. It compares the historical experiences with the cholera outbreak in Zimbabwe in 2008-09; a severe and prolonged outbreak that occasions reassessment of the security dimensions of cholera and efforts to control it. The Zimbabwean Government was at this time already the subject of non-forceful punitive measures. These included placing travel bans on Mugabe's inner circle and freezing overseas assets. Epidemic cholera indicates widespread contamination of drinking water with bacteria-laden human faeces, and this in turn is indicative of extreme poverty and poor health infrastructure. The chapter informs an ethical assessment of the benefits and harms of a security-oriented approach to cholera control.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationEthics and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control: interdisciplinary perspectives
    Editors Christian Enemark and Michael J Selgelid
    Place of PublicationFarnham, UK and Burlington, VT, USA
    PublisherAshgate Publishing Ltd
    ISBN (Print)9781409422532
    Publication statusPublished - 2012


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