Journal article

Expert-Led Securitization: The Case of the 2009 Pandemic in Denmark and Sweden

Olivier Rubin, Erik Baekkeskov

Politics and Governance | Cogitatio | Published : 2020


This article goes beyond the study of speech acts to investigate the process of securitization during a health crisis. The article introduces the concept of ‘expert-led securitization’ to account for situations when experts dominate the administrative process that translates a securitizing speech act into extraordinary public policy. Expert-led securitization was particularly salient during the 2009 pandemic flu in Denmark and Sweden. Autonomous public health expert agencies led the national securitization processes, and these never included intense political battles or extensive public debates. In turn, the respective processes resulted in different policies: Sweden’s main response to the p..

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Funding Acknowledgements

The idea of this article came out of a funding collaboration between the authors and Karen Lund Petersen and Olaf Corry at the Centre for Advanced Security Theory, University of Copenhagen. We want to thank Karen and Olaf for some excellent brainstorming sessions that laid a strong foundation for the present article. We are also grateful for comments we received when presenting a preliminary outline of this article at The Third Northern European Conference on Emergency and Disaster Studies in Amsterdam, 21-23 March 2018. Lastly, we want to thank the Academic Editors and the two anonymous reviewers for excellent comments and suggestions for improvements.