InSIS Special Seminar - A Failure of Classification: Ebola and the Administrative Imagination

Location: InSIS seminar room (64 Banbury Road)

All are welcome to attend.

Seminar abstract
This talk examines recent efforts to diagnose the failure of the global health community to adequately respond to the 2014 Ebola epidemic. These critiques tend to focus on issues such as poor resources or a lack of resources. The talk will suggest that another source of failure was the administrative imagination of global health authorities. An examination of the early stages of response shows that authorities did not consider Ebola to be the kind of disease that could provoke a global health emergency. Rather, it was seen as a "neglected disease" that primarily afflicted marginal populations in rural areas--and thus did not require an intensive global response. 

Presenter biography
Andrew Lakoff is an associate professor of sociology and communication at the University of Southern California. He is the author of Pharmaceutical Reason: Knowledge and Value in Global Psychiatry (2006) and coeditor of Global Pharmaceuticals: Ethics, Markets, Practices (2006) and Biosecurity Interventions: Global Health and Security in Question (2008).