Global Health Security: Conflict, Peacekeeping and Infectious Disease

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The novel coronavirus that emerged in China is the latest headline-grabbing threat to global health, coming on the heels of the ebola outbreaks in the Democratic Republic Congo in 2018 and West Africa in 2014. All of these outbreaks raise interesting questions about global health security, including whether they should be conceived in security terms at all. In his presentation, Professor Johnstone will focus on the ebola outbreaks in Africa through the lens of United Nations peacekeeping and peacebuilding. He will also reflect on the broader implications of the ‘securitization of health,’ an increasingly important topic as the risk grows that the new coronavirus will spread to fragile and conflict-affected states.


Ian Johnstone is a Professor of International Law at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University. From 2018 -2019 he served as Dean ad interim. From 2013 to 2015, he was the Academic Dean at the School. While on sabbatical in 2020, he is a Visiting Professor jointly at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy.

Prior to joining Fletcher in 2000, Johnstone served in the United Nations’ Executive Office of the Secretary-General and Department of Peacekeeping Operations. He continues to work as an occasional consultant to the United Nations.

His most recent books include Research Handbook on Peace Operations and International Law (editor, Edward Elgar Publishing, forthcoming 2020); The Oxford Handbook on International Organizations (co-editor, Oxford University Press, 2016); Law and Practice of the United Nations, Second edition (co-author, Oxford University Press, 2016); and The Power of Deliberation: International Law, Politics and Organizations (Oxford University Press, 2011).

From 2005-2007, he was the lead author and founding editor of the Annual Review of Global Peace Operations. He is currently on the editorial boards of Global Governance Journal and International Organizations Law Review. He is also a Non-Resident Senior Fellow at the Center on International Cooperation, New York University and a Member of the International Advisory Board of the International Peace Institute.

A citizen of Canada, Johnstone holds an LL.M. degree from Columbia University and J.D. and B.A. degrees from the University of Toronto.


Jona Malile

Main Sponsor

Trudeau Centre for Peace, Conflict and Justice


Trudeau Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies

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