Mr Jonathan Herington B.A. (Hons), B.Sc.

Mr Jonathan Herington

Research Fellow

Contact details

Medicine, Ethics, Society & History (MESH)
90 Vincent Drive
School of Health & Population Sciences
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Jonathan Herington is a Research Fellow in Bioethics and Philosophy working on the SURVEILLE project with Professor Heather Draper. His research interests are centred on health security, with particular reference to the provision of healthcare in emergency contexts and the global allocation of resources to global public health emergencies.


  • BSc – University of Queensland (2006)
  • BA (Hons I) – University of Queensland (2007)


Jon completed a double degree in Microbiology and Philosophy (BSc/BA) at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia before undertaking honours level research into the politics and ethics of avian influenza control in South East Asia. He completed his PhD, on the concept and value of security, at the School of Philosophy at the Australian National University in September 2012.


Jon’s research interests are mainly within moral and political philosophy, with a special emphasis on both public health ethics and the concept, value and practice of security. His doctoral thesis analysed the concept and value of security, arguing that to be secure an individual must reliably enjoy a set of necessary goods (e.g. bodily integrity, adequate nutrition, shelter, basic liberties, etc.). Jon is currently applying this notion of security to answer questions arising from the provision of healthcare in emergency contexts and the allocation of resources to global public health emergencies.

SURVEILLE Advisory Service
Jon’s primary role is to evaluate the performance of an Advisory Service being offered as part of the SURVEILLE project. More details regarding the evaluation can be found here

The Concept of Health Security
Building on work from his doctoral thesis, Jon is exploring the concept of health security and its role in global health decision-making. Of particular interest is whether the value of health security justifies the allocation of resources to protect populations from potentially catastrophic and deeply uncertain risks to their health (such as fast-moving zoonoses, pandemic influenza and bioterrorism), as opposed to alleviating ongoing, serious and well-characterised threats (such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, cardiovascular disease).

Public Health Emergencies
The declaration of a public health emergency (PHE) is typically thought to justify the use of otherwise impermissible public health interventions, such as the detention of individuals, mandatory treatment regimes and restrictions on travel and trade. Jon hope’s to identify the features of PHE's - scale, impact, uncertainty and rapidity - which might justify such a state of moral exception.


Herington, J. (2012) ‘The Concept of Security,’in Selgelid, M. and Enemark, C., Ethical and Security Aspects of Infectious Disease Control: Interdisciplinary Perspectives. Ashgate: 7-26. Ashgate: 7-26

Curley, M., Herington J. (2011) ‘The Securitisation of Infectious Disease: International Norms and Domestic Politics in Asia,’ Review of International Studies, 37(1): 141-166, 37(1): 141-166

Herington, J., (2011) ‘Review of Global Public Health by Sara E. Davies,’ Australian Journal of International Relations 65(4): 505-506. 65(4): 505-506.

Herington, J. (2010) ‘Securitization of infectious diseases in Vietnam: the cases of HIV and avian influenza,’ Health Policy and Planning, 25(6): 467-475, 25(6): 467-475 

View all publications in research portal