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Return of the Rebel: Legacies of War and Reconstruction in West Africa’s Ebola Epidemic

The spread of Ebola in West Africa centres on a region with a shared recent history of transnational civil war and internationally led post-conflict reconstruction efforts. This legacy of conflict and shortcomings in the reconstruction efforts are key to understanding how the virus has spread. The dynamics of warfare tied into and accentuated the state’s […]

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Structural Drivers of Vulnerability to Zoonotic Disease in Africa

This paper argues that addressing the underlying structural drivers of disease vulnerability is essential for a ‘One Health’ approach to tackling zoonotic diseases in Africa. Through three case studies-trypanosomiasis in Zimbabwe, Ebola and Lassa Fever in Sierra Leone and Rift Valley fever in Kenya-we show how political interests, commercial investments and conflict and securitization all […]

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Ebola Through a Glass, Darkly: Ways of Knowing the State and Each Other

The Ebola epidemic unfolded in radically divergent manners in two neighboring villages in Sierra Leone, with one recording 40 cases and 20 deaths and the other recording zero cases, though they are located only 100 meters apart. Presented with identical information about Ebola’s cause and modes of transmission, one chief reacted by attempting to shield […]

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Governing Epidemics in an Age of Complexity: Narratives, Politics and Pathways to Sustainability

This paper elaborates a ‘pathways approach’ to addressing the governance challenges posed by the dynamics of complex, coupled, multi-scale systems, while incorporating explicit concern for equity, social justice and the wellbeing of poor and marginalised groups. It illustrates the approach in relation to current policy challenges of dealing with epidemics and so-called ’emerging infectious diseases’ […]

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The Social and Political Lives of Zoonotic Disease Models: Narratives, Science and Policy

Zoonotic diseases currently pose both major health threats and complex scientific and policy challenges, to which modelling is increasingly called to respond. In this article we argue that the challenges are best met by combining multiple models and modelling approaches that elucidate the various epidemiological, ecological and social processes at work. These models should not […]

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Epidemics and the Politics of Knowledge: Contested Narratives and Pathways in H1N1 Response

This article explores the politics of knowledge involved in understanding and responding to epidemics in an era of global health governance and biosecurity. It develops and applies an approach focused on how multiple, competing narratives about epidemics are constructed, mobilized and interact, and selectively justify pathways of intervention and response. A detailed ethnographic case study […]

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