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"Biosecurity Reconsidered: Calibrating Biological Threats and Responses"

A biosecurity manager for USAMRIID steps into a decontamination showroom during a tour of USAMRIID's Patient Containment Lab at Fort Detrick in Frederick, Md. Wilhelmson is wearing a Biosafety Level 4 positive pressure suit. A new “bio-surety” program, ai
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"Biosecurity Reconsidered: Calibrating Biological Threats and Responses"

Journal Article, International Security, volume 34, issue 4, pages 96-132

March 31, 2010

Author: Gregory Koblentz, Former Research Specialist, Executive Session on Domestic Preparedness/International Security Program, 1999-2000

Belfer Center Programs or Projects: Quarterly Journal: International Security



Advances in science and technology, the rise of globalization, the emergence of new diseases, and the changing nature of conflict have increased the risks posed by naturally occurring and man-made biological threats. A growing acceptance of a broader definition of security since the end of the Cold War has facilitated the rise of biosecurity issues on the international security agenda. Developing strategies to counter biological threats is complicated by the lack of agreement on the definition of biosecurity, the diverse range of biological threats, and competing perspectives on the most pressing biological threats. A comprehensive definition of biosecurity that encompasses naturally occurring, accidental, and deliberate disease outbreaks can help to further research, analysis, and policymaking. Operationalizing this broad conception of biosecurity requires a taxonomy of biological threats based on a levels-of-analysis approach that identifies which types of actors are potential sources of biological threats and the groups most at risk from these threats. A biosecurity taxonomy can provide a common framework for the multidisciplinary research and analysis necessary to assess and manage these risks. It also has implications for how to prevent and respond to biological threats, as well as for the future of biosecurity research.



For more information about this publication please contact the IS Editorial Assistant at 617-495-1914.

For Academic Citation:

Gregory D. Koblentz. "Biosecurity Reconsidered: Calibrating Biological Threats and Responses." International Security 34, no. 4 (March 31, 2010): 96-132.

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