New NordSTEVA publication: European security and early warning systems – University of Copenhagen

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15 November 2017

New NordSTEVA publication: European security and early warning systems



Louise Bengtsson, Stefan Borg & Mark Rhinard have published a new exciting article:  "European security and early warning systems: from risks to threats in the European Union’s health security sector"


The article critically examines a poorly understood aspect of the European security landscape: early warning systems (EWSs). EWSs are socio-technical systems designed to detect, analyse, and disseminate knowledge on potential security issues in a wide variety of sectors. We first present an empirical overview of more than 80 EWS in the European Union. We then draw on debates in Critical Security Studies to help us make sense of the role of such systems, tapping into conceptual debates on the construction of security issues as either “threat” or “risk” related. Finally, we study one EWS – the Early Warning and Response System for infectious diseases – to understand how it works and how it reconciles risk – versus threat-based security logics. Contrary to assumptions of a clear distinction between risk- and threat-based logics of security, we show that EWSs may serve as a “transmission belt” for the movement of issues from risk into threats.

The full article can be accessed here