Toward a Global Biosecurity Concert
Previous chapters of this book have repeatedly argued that globalization's impact on biosecurity requires governance beyond national governments and conventional forms of intergovernmental cooperation. Biosecurity policy confronts transnational phenomena, such as terrorism and the globalization of the biological sciences, that place incredible stress on traditional governance approaches to biological weapons and naturally occurring infectious diseases. In addition, these transnational phenomena underscore how new governance approaches must be global in scope to avoid gaps or “weak links” in the chain of efforts created to prevent, protect against, and respond to pathogenic threats. The global nature of the potential threats demands policy and governance actions that are also global in scope and substance.
This chapter explores the challenge of globalizing governance to achieve biosecurity in the twenty-first century. At one level, little disagreement exists that transnational forces require states and non-state actors to work together to overcome obstacles to robust and sustainable biosecurity. Consensus breaks down when experts debate strategies to globalize governance for biosecurity purposes. This breakdown flows from not only divergent ideas about how to advance globalized governance but also different levels of skepticism about the effectiveness of globalized policy. The difficulties of globalizing governance for biosecurity—the fourth key challenge for biosecurity policy in the twenty-first century—cast shadows over the entire biosecurity enterprise.