Rethinking the Infodemic: Global Health Security and Information Disorder

Keywords: infodemic, disinformation, vaccine diplomacy, global health, security, covid-19


The discourse on the infodemic constructs the combination of the pandemic and disinformation as a new source of insecurity on a global scale. How can we make sense – analytically and politically– of this newly politicized nexus of public health, information management, and global security? This article proposes approaching the phenomenon of the infodemic as an intersecting securitization of information disorder and health governance. Specifically, it argues that there are two distinct frames of security mobilized in the context of infodemic governance: information as a disease and information as a weapon. Drawing on literatures on global health and the emerging research on disinformation, the paper situates the two framings of the infodemic in broader discourses on the medicalization of security, and securitization of information disorder, respectively. The article critically reflects on each framing and offers some preliminary thoughts on how to approach the entanglements of health, security, and information disorder in contemporary global politics.

Author Biography

Dagmar Rychnovská, University of Sussex, United Kingdom,

Dagmar Rychnovská is a Lecturer in Global Insecurities at the Department of International Relations, the University of Sussex. She holds a Ph.D. in International Relations from Charles University in Prague and worked as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies Vienna and as a lecturer at Charles University and Metropolitan University Prague. Her research explores the entanglements of science, technology, and security, especially in the areas of global health governance and biosecurity. Her work has been published in Security Dialogue, Social Studies of Science, Geoforum, Science and Engineering Ethics and other journals.

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