Home Institution

George Washington University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Switzerland: International Studies and Multilateral Diplomacy


This paper analyzes the threat infectious diseases impose on global security, specifically in the migration context. Infectious diseases can threaten security through a variety of areas, and this paper aims to identify the global spread of infectious diseases through migration, international crises, humanitarian emergencies, HIV/AIDS, and emerging and re-emerging infectious diseases. This paper explores global health, security, and migration in an attempt to determine if combining these three areas can be meaningful. Generally, studies approach only two of the three areas to examine a topic, but this paper will assess and point out when combining all three fields is relevant. It also evaluates approaches of the World Health Organization, the International Organization for Migration, and specified individual actors to reduce infectious disease spread. Although all organizations have elaborate efforts, they may not all consider global health, security, and migration.

This paper continues to illustrate the need for Global Public Health Security through an analysis of three case studies: the recent Cholera outbreak in Haiti, the transmission of HIV/AIDS amongst seafarers, and the 2003 SARS epidemic. It also proposes actions to increase the perceived threat of infectious diseases on national and global security agendas and offers a positive vision for the future in terms of Global Public Health Security.


Defense and Security Studies | Growth and Development | Infectious Disease | International Public Health