HIV, AIDS and Securitisation

Colin McInnes, Simon Berkeley Rushton

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper

26 Downloads (Pure)


In this paper we offer a preliminary examination of the securitisation of HIV/AIDS. In the first half of the last decade there was a widespread assumption that HIV/AIDS had been successfully securitised. We argue that in 2000 the UNSC made a securitising move which fulfilled the three facilitating conditions identified by Buzan et al for a successful speech act. However, we suggest that HIV/AIDS was only partly securitised, as seen by the reaction of the intended audience, the policy community. We suggest that the reason for this was that the securitising move was weakened by a lack of consensus within the securitising actor, and empirical evidence undermining the case made. In so doing we suggest that political consensus and the ability to support securitising claims with empirical evidence contribute to the facilitating conditions necessary for successful securitisation. This analysis also serves to draw a distinction between a securitising move and successful securitisation. However we would wish to nuance this significantly by suggesting that securitisation is not a binary condition, neither are the results of a securitising move homogenous. Rather some actors have accepted HIV/AIDS’ status as a security issue more readily than others. This variety may in part be a reflection of the disease itself, that its effects are not homogenous but diverse depending on context; but it also suggests that different actors (often at the level of ministries or even individuals) were more easily persuaded than others.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event2010 International Studies Association Annual Conference - New Orleans, United States of America
Duration: 17 Feb 201020 Feb 2010


Conference2010 International Studies Association Annual Conference
Country/TerritoryUnited States of America
CityNew Orleans
Period17 Feb 201020 Feb 2010


  • securitisation


Dive into the research topics of 'HIV, AIDS and Securitisation'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this