Ambivalenzen der Sorge von Global Health Security und das Problem der response-ability

Carolin Mezes


Through qualitative analysis of materials from ethnographic observations
and governance documents, and along an analytic framework of infrastructure,
this paper examines the ambivalences of care in and of Global
Health Security. Global Health Security’s occupation with preparing
health systems for an appropriate emergency response is accompanied by
the problem of allocating responsibility for this preparedness capacity
buildup. The paper argues that a universalist narrative of globally shared
vulnerability to infectious disease threats drives Global Health Security as
a global governance programme. It is shown how this narrative securitizes
existing vulnerabilities in health infrastructures and how Global Health
Security thereby functions as a reflexivization of former infrastructural adjustment
programmes, which co-constituted these vulnerabilites in the
first place. Against the backdrop of the problematic emergency response to
the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, the concept of
response-ability – developed in neo-materialist and posthumanist feminism
– helps to contour the ambivalences of Global Health Security’s care.
While certain infrastructural vulnerabilities and provisional needs are being
addressed, the caring security employed in Global Health fails to respond
to other, obvious infrastructural vulnerabilities.