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Ebola and the production of neglect in global health

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JournalThird World Quarterly
DateAccepted/In press - 23 Nov 2015
DateE-pub ahead of print - 10 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - 2016
Issue number3
Number of pages15
Pages (from-to)542-556
Early online date10/03/16
Original languageEnglish


This article argues that the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa reinscribed the neglect that has surrounded this disease. The argument develops theoretical tools for understanding how neglect is produced in global health. Arguing that neglect is connected with the production of harm and vulnerability, it stresses the importance of emotions in issue-prioritisation in global health. Focusing on the dynamics of abjection, the article shows how the 2014 Ebola outbreak was framed as a (racialised) African problem and obfuscated by a political and media spectacle. The result was the preference for short-term crisis-management responses that detracted from long-term structural solutions.

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