Adam Kamradt-Scott, Sara E. Davies and Simon Rushton, Disease Diplomacy: International Norms and Global Health Security (John Hopkins University Press, 2015)

Summary
n the age of air travel and globalized trade, pathogens that once took months or even years to spread beyond their regions of origin can now circumnavigate the globe in a matter of hours. Amid growing concerns about such epidemics as Ebola, SARS, MERS, and H1N1, disease diplomacy has emerged as a key foreign and security policy concern as countries work to collectively strengthen the global systems of disease surveillance and control.

The revision of the International Health Regulations (IHR), eventually adopted by the World Health Organization’s member states in 2005, was the foremost manifestation of this novel diplomacy. The new regulations heralded a profound shift in international norms surrounding global health security, significantly expanding what is expected of states in the face of public health emergencies and requiring them to improve their capacity to detect and contain outbreaks.

Drawing on Martha Finnemore and Kathryn Sikkink’s “norm life cycle” framework and based on extensive documentary analysis and key informant interviews, Disease Diplomacy traces the emergence of these new norms of global health security, the extent to which they have been internalized by states, and the political and technical constraints governments confront in attempting to comply with their new international obligations. The authors also examine in detail the background, drafting, adoption, and implementation of the IHR while arguing that the very existence of these regulations reveals an important new understanding: that infectious disease outbreaks and their management are critical to national and international security.

The book will be of great interest to academic researchers, postgraduate students, and advanced undergraduates in the fields of global public health, international relations, and public policy, as well as health professionals, diplomats, and practitioners with a professional interest in global health security.

About the Authors
Adam Kamradt-Scott specialises in global health security and international relations. His research and teaching explores how governments and multilateral organisations cooperate and interact when adverse health events such as disease outbreaks, epidemics and pandemics occur, as well as how they respond to emerging health and security challenges. Adam’s most recent research examines civil-military cooperation in health and humanitarian crises, and the correlations between gender, sexuality, health and security.

Sara Davies is an Australian Research Council (ARC) Future Fellow and Associate Professor at the Centre for Governance and Public Policy, School of Government and International Relations, Griffith University, Australia. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor at the Gender Peace and Security Initiative, School of Social Sciences, Monash University

Simon Rushton joined the Department of Politics in January 2013. He completed an LLB in Law and Politics followed by an MA in International Law and Politics at the University of Hull. He moved to the Department of International Politics at Aberystwyth University in 2000 to undertake a PhD and subsequently held posts at Aberystwyth as Lecturer and Research Fellow.