The Spread Of Ebola: A Liberal Perspective On Ebola Epidemic In West Africa

The spread and the introduction of democratic institutionalism, free economic liberalization and the increasing significance among international institutions around the globe have prompted the international community and nation states to exercise liberal ideologies within their political system, thus reviving the emerging world interest for dominance. These notions of globalization driven by ideologies have created some major tension both in the international community and within the state’s affairs. Some institutions views globalization as a threat to internal affairs, but others perceived as creating cooperation between governments and progress in international affairs. Firstly, this essay will attempt to address the nature of the Ebola epidemic in the international relations. Secondly, it will address how liberal views Ebola epidemic outbreak in West Africa. Finally, the essay will examine a brief case study of Ebola epidemic and its impact on the international relations as a short conclusion on why it is an issue in the international relations.

As the world population continues to grow rapidly in a very competitive globalize environment. Humans are constantly seeking to address the threat pose by globalization and the issues that are creating sweeping governance crises in the new age of increasing interdependent complexity. The changes in world population in recent decades have led to mass settlement in the urban centres. The integration of the globe and the cosmopolitan culture has reduced barriers of identity and autonomy, paving the way for multiculturalism as well as sovereignty surrender in order to benefits from the global cooperation. Global transmittable disease historically, have repeatedly challenged human well-being and they are still continuing to undermine globalization. Transmittable diseases are believed to pose long term effect on human health. As Morris (2013) described them as it can easily infect and spread rapidly from human to human through direct handling of animals.

Over the past decades, deadly outbreak of Ebola virus pandemic has generated global concern in an increasing global movement and migration. One instantaneous threat of infectious disease was an Ebola outbreak in 2014 in West Africa, which, led the World Health Organization to declare it as a global public emergency. The outbreak of the Ebola virus disease had been unprecedented in scale, with more than 28 000 confirmed cases and 11 000 deaths worldwide. Various cooperative institutions and governments around the world contribute with considerable support in eradicating and prevent the outbreak.

Liberalism is arguably the most widely practice type of government among state and one the oldest among world theory with its philosophical root extending back in the enlightenment period. The introduction of liberalism among institutional governments has brought significant impact within the international community and this effect has driven world critics to critically reassess the current and the future world direction. Liberalism aims to address fundamental issues that are commonly disregarded by realist counterparts, such as the state behaviours toward its domestic politics, the interdependency of economical involvement and the role of institutions and international norms in popularising international cooperation. Liberal institutionalism has traditionally embraced its profound share believes, emphasizing for institutional arrangement in cooperating to achieve common threat that international institutions believe as a common problem among all members. As with that view, liberal institutionalist could view the global epidemic outbreak as an international threat that transcend transnational borders with immense security threats to all members of the international community. Since it poses a threat to everyone, members and various institutional may carry out cooperative task force with one another to collectively combat the outbreak effectively and efficiently in areas that have been significantly affected by the pandemic.

Concentrating power and faith in liberal institutionalism has positively demonstrated as an effective instrument as well as a crucial source of reliability among democratic institutional governments to mutually address transcend international barriers that seem to undermine transparency and spread of liberal institutional ideologies. Diplomacy as a core part of liberalism, has yielded an enormous impact in the international community. According to Berridge (2005) diplomacy has been used as a means for conducting international relations and it has also recently served an important instrument in ‘soft issues’ such as global health. The introduction of “global health diplomacy” has dominated the world foreign policy and policy makers to reconsider the health risk pose by globalisation. With a rapid need to manage global health that transcend borders, institutional liberalism is constantly seeking cooperation and unification from the international community to prevent further outbreak. Global healthy diplomacy has been considerably vital used by the World Health Organization in bringing global health professionals together to see health as a common priority for foreign policy. Therefore, liberalism trust in institutional as a tool to address global pandemic, could be seen by liberal institutionalist as a new chapter in solving trans-borders threat and demand further expansion in globalising era.

The 2014 outbreak of Ebola pandemic has created some major concern in the international community and the significant impact on globalization. The enormous impact of Ebola epidemic on the economic sector and the health care system among West African regions is polarizing rapidly. The underlying factor behind the continuing economic crisis among the West African region, especially, Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea are believed to be the outgoing fear driven by the pandemic. With less development and low economic growth in the region compare to the Global North, the region is becoming highly dependent heavily on wealthy, industrialized countries for economic and security assistance. In contrast with the developed Global North, the economic system in the region predominately relies on Agriculture resources as the main source of trading and wellbeing. According to (2014) world bank report, the losses in the agriculture sector accounted for approximately 2.2 billion of the economy during the pandemic in both areas combined. The heavy quarantining of thousands of people during the outbreak has further created a devastating effect on transports and infrastructures, thus restricting the movement of global supply chain both domestically and internationally in conducting trade. The further rapid spread of cross-border transmission into neighbouring countries as well as the potential for further international spread with extreme poverty in the region created some major concern within the international community (Gallagher 2014). The WHO Director announces US$100 million monetary aid in combating the rapid of the disease. WHO declaration of Ebola as a national health emergency not only did it created an awareness in the region, but also it seeks the urgent needs of basic supplies and international cooperation in preventing the escalation of the pandemic worldwide (WHO, 2014). The prolonged on-going civil war in the region and the fear of the disease generated a further pressure toward social tension leading to less trust in the government officials. The lack of stability and increasing challenges poses by the terrorist attack was deemed by CDC Director as a major characterized threat in providing basic health supplies and security services (CDC, 2014). The persistent and the constant absence of peace and stability in most of the global south modern era and the fragile health care system, restraint the international community cooperation in responding to domestic issues. In 2005, the UN’s Peacebuilding Commission has been an actor in assisting the region with post-conflict nations as well as to maintain peace and stability. The response of the UN Peace building commission has implemented and adopted strategic not only to ensure long lasting peace and stability’ but also to the response and preserve health threat in global health security strategy. Furthermore, the constant changes in how modern era international community used in response with global epidemic has gone through major transformation since the beginning of the 21st century. Some critics believe that change is happening unevenly. Fidler argues that the lack of a well-develop health care system, such as inadequate medical supplies and insufficient healthcare personnel in developing region of West Africa was one the contributing factor and explanation for 2014 Ebola severity.

In conclusion, the ongoing changes that are constantly occurring in the world is quickly polarizing. Uncertainty and predictability about the future and the new world system is on the verge. The past ideologies that once prevail have been incorporated with new ideas to the present way of thinking about the current world. Failing to understand changing global conditions or embracing one view as a way of explaining the world could have long lasting consequence. This essay has attempted to effectively address that as the global population increases, integrations in the global village and the adoption of cosmopolitan multiculturalism view is sparkling in the world of politics. With the emergence of globalization, optimist views this has a transition in solving human’s problems as well as developing multilateral cooperation. But the pessimistic view the change as creating more global problems and argues that the absence of an absolute ways of addressing the current world issues makes it difficult to manage disruption in globalization. Additionally, the liberalism views persistent occurrence of global epidemic poses as a threat to everyone in the international community, therefore there should exist global institutions in the anarchy to cooperatively address pandemic outbreak. Finally, establishing powerfully institutions worldwide such as WHO and other various organization could potentially reduce the severity and impact from further escalations.


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16 December 2021
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