Human security as biosecurity

Craig Albert, Amado Baez, Joshua Rutland

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Research within security studies has struggled to determine whether infectious disease (ID) represents an existential threat to national and international security. With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), it is imperative to reexamine the relationship between ID and global security. This article addresses the specific threat to security from COVID-19, asking, Is COVID-19 a threat to national and international security? To investigate this question, this article uses two theoretical approaches: Human security and biosecurity. It argues that COVID-19 is a threat to global security by the ontological crisis posed to individuals through human security theory and through high politics, as evidenced by biosecurity. By viewing security threats through the lens of the individual and the state, it becomes clear that ID should be considered an international security threat. This article examines the relevant literature and applies the theoretical framework to a case study analysis focused on the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)83-105
Number of pages23
JournalPolitics and the Life Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2021


  • Biosecurity
  • COVID-19
  • Health Security
  • Human Security
  • National Security

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Public Administration


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