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Crisis Preparedness: Asia and the Global Governance of Epidemics

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Shorenstein APARC, page(s): 156

June 2007

Quah CrisisPrepare

Throughout history, nations have waged war against epidemics, from bubonic plague to pulmonary tuberculosis. Today, we confront HIV/AIDS, SARS, and avian influenza, among other major infectious diseases. The failure to contain HIV/AIDS, the longest contemporary pandemic, and the difficulties in dealing with the threat posed by avian influenza, show that the world is not well prepared for the next health crises. Because preventing and controlling these infectious diseases is a race against time, scientists around the world scrutinize viruses and bacteria more intently than ever. Yet while scientific advances are crucial, they are insufficient.

This timely book addresses the urgent need to study the governance of infectious disease epidemics, and argues that the battle must be fought on two fronts, simultaneously. The first is within the laboratory; the second is located in a wider social context that involves ordinary individuals, groups, communities, legislators, and the state. Research by medical sociologists and other social scientists indicates that many factors influence people's behavior and, in turn, the level of success in preventing and containing an infectious disease epidemic.

Using Asia as a case study, Crisis Preparedness discusses the inadequacies of current preventive and management approaches to deal with epidemics. The distinguished international contributors to this volume present perspectives from the fields of social science, epidemiology, and public health, and collectively seek to answer the pressing question: How can we prepare for the next global epidemic?

About the Editor: Stella R. Quah is professor of sociology at the National University of Singapore. She is on the advisory boards of the British Journal of Sociology, Health Sociology Review, and Asian Population Studies. She also serves as editor of the Health Systems Section, Encyclopedia of Public Health (Elsevier).

Examination copies: Shorenstein APARC books are distributed by the Brookings Institution Press. You can obtain information on obtaining an examination copy at their website.

Publication Materials
Crisis Preparedness Introduction, by Stella R. Quah Download pdf
Crisis Preparedness Contributor Bios Download pdf
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