The Darkened Horizon: Two Modes of Organizing Pandemics

  • Matthias Leanza


This chapter deals with the recent darkening of the future horizon in the global fight against pandemics. Since roughly the year 2000, the World Health Organization has collaborated with a large number of local actors and made a concentrated effort to protect the world’s population against emerging infectious diseases, such as severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), swine flu, Ebola and Zika. Although efforts have been made so that the spread of future infectious diseases will be contained through early intervention, the actors in charge anticipate that the extant measures will fail to some degree. They believe it is simply impossible to prevent all pandemics from happening. But steps can and should be taken to lessen the impact of an unavoidable pandemic through emergency preparation. This chapter deals with organizations and organizational networks as key actors in these processes of emergency planning. Without the capacity of organizations to produce binding decisions for their members, which makes planning for an uncertain future possible, pandemic preparedness would not be feasible—especially not on a global scale.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Leanza
    • 1
  1. 1.Sociology DepartmentUniversity of BaselBaselSwitzerland

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