In recent decades, new pathogens such as HIV, the Ebola virus, and the BSE prion have emerged, while old scourges such as tuberculosis, cholera, and malaria have grown increasingly resistant to treatment. The global spread of disease does not threaten the human species, but it threatens the prosperity and stability of human societies.
In this pathbreaking book, Andrew Price-Smith investigates the influence of infectious disease on nations' stability and prosperity. He also provides a theoretical and empirical foundation for the emerging field of health security. Price-Smith shows that the global proliferation of infectious disease will limit the ability of states to govern themselves effectively and to maximize their economic power. Because infectious disease can cause poverty, intra-state violence and political instability may increase. This in turn may have negative long-term effects on regional economic and political stability, damaging international relations and development.
Price-Smith takes an interdisciplinary approach to topics ranging from the effects of global environmental change on the spread of disease to the feedback loop between public health and the strength of a nation's economy and its political stability over time. As the proliferation of infectious disease threatens international stability and the policy interests of the United States in years to come, its study will become an increasingly important subfield of political science.