Yesterday, 1st February 2016, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern. A PHEIC is an ‘extraordinary event’ which constitutes a public health risk to other communities through the international spread of disease and would potentially require an international response to bring it under control. This declaration was made following increasing concern about the spread of the Zika virus disease and its link to cases of babies born with microcephaly and other neurological disorders in Brazil. This declaration has a purpose – it will spur into action an international response. Continue reading
We’re pleased to announce details of the second Governing Emergencies workshop on Emergency and Disaster Publics. It will take place in Rotterdam on the 4th and 5th June 2015. For the first day of the workshop, we will visit the Watersnoodmuseum in Ouwerkerk. The museum commemorates a flood event of 1953 in which over 1,800 people died. The museum is organised in the concrete caissons that were used to close the openings in the dykes during the floods. Continue reading
We’re pleased to announce that the new special issue of Theory Culture & Society on Governing Emergencies is now available. It draws together critical work on emergency, exploring the politics and techniques of governing emergencies and the experiences of living through and with emergency, focusing on a range of different types of emergency. The special issue has been edited by Peter Adey (Royal Holloway), Ben Anderson (Durham University) and Stephen Graham (Newcastle University).
The issue includes:
Introduction: Governing Emergencies: Beyond Exceptionality by Peter Adey, Ben Anderson, and Stephen Graham
Vital Systems Security: Reflexive Biopolitics and the Government of Emergency by Stephen Collier and Andrew Lakoff
The Theology of Emergency: Welfare Reform, US Foreign Aid and the Faith-Based Initiative by Melinda Cooper
Cybersecurity, Bureaucratic Vitalism and European Emergency by Stephanie Simon and Marieke de Goede
Future Emergencies: Temporal Politics in Law and Economy by Sven Opitz and Ute Tellmann
Governing Inflation: Price and Atmospheres of Emergency by Derek McCormack
‘Crowded Places Are Everywhere We Go’: Crowds, Emergency, Politics by Claudia Aradau
You can access the special issue on the Theory Culture & Society website.
The 1964 Emergency Powers Act was made law on 10th June 1964. It is only two paragraphs long, and received nothing of the intense political and public attention that surrounded the introduction of the Emergency Powers Act 1920 which it amends (see previous blog post). But it does instantiate a significant change in what can count as an emergency for the purpose of declaring a state of emergency. As part of the project on the UK emergency state, we’ve been looking at the Act. Continue reading
Issue 5 of Limn is now available and focuses on the 2014 Ebola outbreak. It is a great resource for anyone interested in global biosecurity emergencies and how global health norms, logics and techniques can be problematised through the case study of Ebola.
The issue includes:
- Andrew Lakoff on “Two States of Emergency: Ebola 2014” – which questions to what exactly was the international response ‘slow and feeble.’
- Ann H. Kelly on “Ebola, Running Ahead” – which looks at the design of clinical trials, asking the question: what does experimentation look like in the time of emergency?
- Nicholas B. King on “Ebola, 1995/2014” – which focuses on the dialectics of confidence and paranoia in the Ebola outbreaks of 1995 and 2014.
- And Peter Redfield on “Medical Vulnerability, or Where There Is No Kit” – which explores the role of medical humanitarian response
Contributions are made by Lyle Fearnley, Ann H. Kelly, Nicholas B. King, Guillaume Lachenal, Andrew Lakoff, Theresa MacPhail, Frédéric Le Marcis and Vinh-Kim Nguyen, Alex Nading, Joanna Radin, and Peter Redfield.
Thanks to Stephen Collier for the link to this.
After a Christmas break, I’ve spent a bit of time this week beginning to read and think about the research material from the first stage of my project on a genealogy of the UK emergency state. Continue reading
Derek Gregory reflects on Pete Adey and Ben Anderson’s work on governing emergencies.
I’ve been catching up on a stream of publications by Pete Adeyand Ben Anderson on emergencies, including ‘Affect and security: exercising emergency in UK “civil contingencies”‘, Society & Space 29(6) (2011) 1092-1109; ‘Anticipating emergencies: Technologies of preparedness and the matter of security’, Security dialogue 43 (2) (2012) 99-117; and ‘Governing events and life: “Emergency” in UK Civil Contingencies’, Political Geography 31 (1) (2012) 24-33.
This has been prompted by a continuing conversation with Theo Price about a series of political/artistic interventions under the rubric of COBRA RES, in which he’s invited me to take part. COBRA, as many readers will know, is
the British Government’s emergency response committee set up to respond to a national or regional crisis. Standing for Cabinet Office Briefing Room A [below], the COBRA Committee comes together in moments of perceived crisis under the chairmanship of either the Prime Minister or the…
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