You are here: Home / People / Thomas (Tom) D. Beamish / 2. Book: Community at Risk: Biodefense and the Collective Search for Security. Stanford University Press. http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=22571

2. Book: Community at Risk: Biodefense and the Collective Search for Security. Stanford University Press. http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=22571

The anthrax attacks of 2001 provoked deep concern and urgency among U.S. security elites regarding bioterrorism. Coming after 9/11 and followed by the successive menace of West Nile virus, SARS, and avian influenza, these events prompted the federal government to pursue an aggressive new biodefense agenda. Even given the purported menace of bio-catastrophe, however, the new federal risk management plans stirred controversy. Community at Risk provides a comparative view of that controversy as it ensued in three communities where universities sought to host and manage National Biocontainment Laboratories (NBL) on behalf of the federal government. NBLs are a cornerstone of federal biodefense plans; they are ultrasecure laboratories where research on the most dangerous diseases can be conducted and microbiological and biomedical applications can be rapidly developed and deployed. By comparing community responses, Community at Risk highlights the important role that local civic political dynamics play in defining what is at stake and therefore perceptions of acceptable and unacceptable risk. It explains the civic politics of risk as rooted in locally shared governance conventions, politicized relations, and resonant virtues that clustered in each community context as a prevailing civics and discourse. In one community, the prevailing civics and discourse helped to ease locals toward acceptance, while in the other two communities, they helped to intensify skepticism and risk dispute. Through comparative analysis, Community at Risk shows why societal attempts to manage risk require greater attention to the local level where public understanding is often forged and political engagement arises and unfolds.
2. Book: Community at Risk: Biodefense and the Collective Search for Security. Stanford University Press. http://www.sup.org/books/title/?id=22571
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