A science that knows no country: Pandemic preparedness, global risk, sovereign science

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


This paper examines political norms and relationships associated with governance of pandemic risk. Through a pair of linked controversies over scientific access to H5N1 flu virus and genomic data, it examining the duties, obligations, and allocations of authority articulated around the imperative for globally free-flowing information and around the corollary imperative for a science that is set free to produce such information. It argues that scientific regimes are laying claim to a kind of sovereignty, particularly in moments where scientific experts call into question the legitimacy of claims grounded in national sovereignty, by positioning the norms of scientific practice, including a commitment to unfettered access to scientific information and to the authority of science to declare what needs to be known, as essential to global governance. Scientific authority occupies a constitutional position insofar as it figures centrally in the repertoire of imaginaries that shape how a global community is imagined: what binds that community together and what shared political commitments, norms, and subjection to delegated authority are seen as necessary for it to be rightly governed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBig Data and Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Pandemic preparedness
  • biosecurity
  • constitutionalism
  • global governance
  • influenza
  • science and law

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems and Management
  • Information Systems
  • Communication
  • Library and Information Sciences
  • Computer Science Applications


Dive into the research topics of 'A science that knows no country: Pandemic preparedness, global risk, sovereign science'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this