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Health, stabilization and securitization: towards understanding the drivers of the military role in health interventions

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In the post-Cold War world, health issues have become firmly rooted in state foreign policies through initiatives such as the UK's ‘Health is Global' strategy. However, since 9/11, there has also been growing interest in the interactions between health sector interventions and state fragility. Whilst fragility clearly has a negative impact upon both health outcomes and the capacity of the state to respond to health issues generally, there has been a growing assumption amongst policy makers and practitioners alike that carefully formulated health programmes contribute both to social stability and more widely to a state- and peace-building agenda. This process risks being co-opted by the debates on ‘stabilization’ – a discourse configured around addressing state fragility and often associated with the interventions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Consequently, this article explores the emergence of health interventions as ‘strategic tools’ linked to the stabilization debate, explores the emergence of the ‘health as a bridge for peace’ (HBP) debate, assesses some of the evidence available for HBP and finally focuses on the issues arising from the use of militarized health interventions, particularly in Helmand.

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en

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/41239/

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