The United Nations as Global Health Keeper. Studying the United Nation emergency response to the 2014-2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa through an underlying logic of securitization
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This thesis addresses the response of the United Nations in the Ebola health crisis in West Africa in 2014 and 2015. Over recent years, the notion of international security has broadened and included not only military, but also societal and developmental issues. The involvement of the United Nations system in the response and interventions to Ebola, which can be framed as both a security threat as well as a humanitarian crisis, highlights new narratives and responses to the safeguarding of security. This thesis provides insight in the complex array of discourses, stakes and interests that come together in the United Nations system and form the Ebola complex. Based mainly on the theoretical models of securitization and assemblage, this thesis aims to develop further understanding of the deployment of security labels to legitimize extraordinary measures in the context of a health crisis. It intends to pinpoint what securitization does and in so doing sheds light on the social and political implications of securitization. Overall, this thesis will take a critical stance towards the taken for granted realities of security in the world and defend the need for a comprehensive, cultural sensitive and human-rights centered approach to a health crisis like Ebola.