Global health governance, sovereignty and security: constructing the case of ebola
Dağçınar, Sarp Şamil
Mutlu, Can Emir
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The 2014-2015 Ebola Crisis in Western Africa was the most severe outbreak of Ebola in recorded history. The individual governments of the affected countries were ill-equipped in controlling and mitigating Ebola. The prominent global actor, the World Health Organization (WHO), responsible for the global health provision immediately declared Ebola outbreak as public health emergency of international concern (PHEIC). Such frame was also utilized by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) as the members of the Council declared Ebola outbreak a security threat to international peace and security. Such use of a security framework regenerated debates regarding the efficacy and comprehensiveness of the global health governance. To understand how and why a security discourse informed the ways in which the global efforts were mobilized throughout the Ebola Crisis, this research attempts to elicit a historical overview of the processes through which the global health governance were reformed since the end of the Cold War. The main argument is that since the years of the gradual reformation of the global health governance regime, a security discourse permeated the institutional discourses and apparatuses of the WHO. Such occurrence was a result of the expanding security agendas of the leading Western powers which found purchase at the WHO headquarters. Challenging the prioritization of the national security agendas over human security, this research offers a theoretical resistance point through re-reading Realism in International Relations to argue the case for the prioritization of the human security over the national security.