Panic, Quarantines, and the 1851 International Sanitary Conference
In Chapter 3, João Rangel de Almeida explore the political exploitation of infectious disease “shocks.” More specifically, his focus is on the opportunities furnished by cholera epidemics and the panics they incited. The chapter argues that European delegates to the 1851 International Sanitary Conference in Paris used the cholera crisis as a way of negotiating new ways of conducting diplomacy and settling scientific controversies while putting in place a modern program of international epidemic governance. Rangel de Almeida suggests, here, that institutional responses developed to deal with a particular crisis—that of cholera—legitimated Western “health” interventions in the non-Western world, creating a broader context for diplomatic relations and foreign interventions that reverberates in the present.
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