An emergency of circulation: entry screening in the UK during the 2014 Ebola epidemic

Michael Rabi, Limor Samimian-Darash

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The rise of emergency governance in global public health has driven a number of changes in this field. In this article, we investigate one of the practices of emergency governance–border screening–and identify a new form of screening that emerged in the UK during the 2014 Ebola epidemic in West Africa. Analysing the UK’s deployment of Ebola entry screening and the public debate that emerged around it, we show how this technology was constructed to identify potentially risky individuals, assess their risk level and pre-accelerate future response to potential cases. Engaging with Foucault’s notion of a ‘crisis of circulation’, we argue that this approach expresses a response to an emergency of circulation: the alarming prospect of a concrete threat with the potential to infiltrate the population through circulation systems. We show that entry screening, in this case, addresses such a problem by enabling, rather than diminishing, circulation.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)83-94
Number of pages12
JournalCritical Public Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2023


  • Ebola
  • Entry screening
  • UK
  • emergency
  • governmentality

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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