Towards a Coordinated Response to Biological Terrorism: Developing The Biological Incident Response Model

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Since 9/11, a significant body of research has been developed to address initiatives enacted to respond to biological incidents, including bioterrorism, with most of these efforts being made on national and institutional levels. The COVID 19 global pandemic has, however, underlined the importance of a coordinated response to bioterrorism that emphasises a ‘whole of society’ approach in its delivery and, as such, it is fundamental that new insights inform how actors can enhance their preparedness. A first stage for these actors must be an understanding of their unique roles for reducing the vulnerability of and responding to biological incidents. Yet, despite research indicating that local authorities are particularly vulnerable, little attention is given to planning for bioterrorism at this level. This research makes a step towards addressing this gap by developing an understanding of where different actors can best focus their efforts to prepare for biological incidents and develops the Biological Incident Response Model. The premise is that proposing a model to understand the roles of actors, rather than one that seeks to establish benchmarks for collective security, can help decision-makers to recognise their responsibility in a coordinated response to complex issues where no one actor can advance alone. This approach creates a greater sense of ownership at each level to enhance coordination and improve response.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)(In-Press)
Number of pages10
JournalDefence Against Terorrism Review (DATR)
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 15 Mar 2023


  • Bioterrorism
  • Biological Warfare
  • Counter-terrorism
  • Protective security
  • Public Health
  • Decision-making
  • Security governance


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