Public Health and National Security after COVID-19

Our Programme on International Peace and Security (IPS) is pleased to announce the launch of a new research project, Public Health and National Security after COVID-19. In partnership with the US National Defense University’s Center for the Study of Weapons of Mass Destruction (CSWMD), IPS will examine how the US and the UK should reassess their approaches to national security in light of COVID-19. The project, which is being supported by Oxford’s Research & Public Policy Partnership Scheme, will be led by IPS Executive Director Federica D’Alessandra, alongside Nima Gerami, IPS and CSWMD Consultant, and Amanda Moodie, CSWMD Policy Fellow. 

Despite their oft-cited leadership in pandemic preparedness and outsized roles in the governance of global health, the US and the UK have struggled to respond effectively to the spread of COVID-19. Consequently, this has prompted vital debate about the grave impact of emerging infectious diseases and the need to identify public health as a national and international security priority. The IPS-CSWMD research project will analyse the evolution of the health-security nexus and provide recommendations for strengthening the global health architecture in a post-COVID-19 world.

CSWMD has been designated by the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as the focal point for education in the Department of Defense on the challenges posed by weapons of mass destruction. Through collaboration with IPS, the research team will engage with policy stakeholders, including within the Department of Defense, the Department of State, and their UK counterparts, to assess the policy trade-offs involved in the increasing securitisation of public health.