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The Politics of FearMédecins sans Frontières and the West African Ebola Epidemic$
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Michiel Hofman and Sokhieng Au

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190624477

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190624477.001.0001

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The “Humanitarian” Response to the Ebola Epidemic in Guinea

The “Humanitarian” Response to the Ebola Epidemic in Guinea

Between Routines and Exceptions

(p.63) 3 The “Humanitarian” Response to the Ebola Epidemic in Guinea
The Politics of Fear

Jean-Francois Caremel

Sylvain Landry B. Faye

Ramatou Ouedraogo

Oxford University Press

Through anthropological analysis, this chapter questions the “exceptionality” of the response to the Ebola epidemic in Guinea. By comparing biomedical and popular representations, it highlights blind spots in the international response. The first part analyzes the disconnect in risk construction and the modes of response between local populations and international actors. These developments highlight the tension that existed between conflicting representations of the state and its role in the response “Apparatus.” The second part examines how the response was progressively routinized, and how this routine created a partial announced success. The final section questions the label of “exception” applied to this epidemic and the manner in which this exceptionalism was constructed irrespective of the reality of local context.

Keywords:   Ebola, epidemic, Guinea, international response, response apparatus, exceptional, anthropology

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