New Pandemics, Old Politics: Two hundred years of war on disease and it’s alternatives

The book explores how these pandemic response scripts were drafted. It examines the consequences for politics and science in the gaps between the outbreak of a new pandemic pathogen, the scientific discovery, and application of policies for containment and cure. It examines three historic pandemics—cholera in 19th century Europe and India, the 1918-19 influenza pandemic, and late-century HIV/AIDS in Africa and around the world—and the preparedness plans for ‘disease X’ over the last 25 years. The goal is to help explain what is familiar and what is unexpected in the current Covid-19 crisis. The book makes the argument for a critical perspective on the politics of pandemics and in favor of a more democratic and inclusive approach to public health.

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