|Infectious Disease and Irreversible Catastrophic Risk: Risk Management in Complex Society
Can infectious diseases precipitate State failure? In a global pandemic, domestic and international public health networks may not quickly detect or appropriately respond to the nature, scale and complexity of the impending disaster. A severe pandemic of sufficient scale and centrality to a country’s socio-economic system can result in a shutdown in the flow of goods and services. Coupled with other global networks, such as trade, supply chain contagion can propagate rapidly through connected networks including financial systems. Technological systems are engineered to be interconnected, interoperable and interdependent to increase speed and efficiency, but this also increases vulnerability to systemic shocks. Recovery from a disease-induced shock, particularly in fragile or conflict-affected states, may prove difficult or impossible, and thus be considered an irreversible catastrophic risk.
James Campbell, Ph.D., M.P.H., Professor, Daniel K. Inouye Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies, Honolulu, Hawaii
COBRE TMMMP James Campbell 10032018