Essay on Global Health a Threat to Peace and Stability in Contemporary Global Politics

Published: 2021/11/12
Number of words: 3866


Contemporary global politics encompass the studies that deal with the political and economic patterns of the world. As a phenomenon that delves into the state of equilibrium of various powers, global politics has been influenced by globalisation, which can be said to be an increase or decline in globalism. Keohane and Nye (2000) define globalism as a concept that implies the state of interdependence at continental levels. Globalism and globalisation share a common concept where by Scholte (2007) defines this concept as the elimination of barriers to cross-national social contact. People everywhere are becoming more capable of connecting – physically, legally, verbally, culturally, and psychologically. Thus globalization can be coined in the concept of understanding social relations and developments across the globe leading to connections between humans .These connections arise through the flow of ideas, capital and goods, people, and even environmental and biological aspects. While this is an important development, many aspects play an important role, including peace and stability. The increase has influenced the current global politics in globalist rates that positively correlate to the rise of threats to peace. However, many factors threaten peace and stability in contemporary international politics to the extent that many international actors have tried to find solutions. Some of these elements are global health, global migration, violence, armed conflict, and global inequality. Against this backdrop, this essay examines the extent to which global health threatens the peace and stability in the contemporary global politics. First, the essay delves into the concept global health and how its meaning from the peace and security perspective. The sections that follow examine global health in light of various peace and stability aspects, including violence, armed conflicts, global migration, and global inequality, after which a summary of findings follows.

Global Health

Global health is a significant threat to peace, and it is the general health of the populations in a worldwide context. Koplan et al., (2009) Alludes that global health is a collective term that encompasses actual associations and partnerships, employment of collective resources, knowledge, and experiences of diverse cultures to address global health challenges. Global health is a great deal of different elements such as the media, academic programs and even forms a centre of government focus: In the united stated the public health is concerned with the health of its people having a direct connection with the protection of the state interests (King, 2002). The public health body is aimed at fighting against infectious diseases, particularly of external origin. With the concept of globalisation, new disease strains threaten human existence; the rise of innovation and biological weapons in the current era had gained popularity that can threaten world peace. According to King (2002), the concept of the internationalisation of health concerns has been interwoven with economic and national security concerns. The geopolitical marketplace is undergoing fast change at a time when viruses may spread around the world in hours without regard for boundaries and when illness threatens peace, economic growth, and development (Chattu and Knight, 2019).

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Global health is a threat to peace and can be explained in different contexts. For instance, global health focuses on the well-being of the world population, and during wars, elements such as Bombs and bullets are direct threats to human health (MacQueen and Santa-Barbara 2000). As a result, Economic and social systems are disrupted, resulting in famines and epidemics. Economic resources are diverted to military purposes rather than to health requirements. Over the past several years, war has been presented within the context of a public health issue. However, it raises issues about the obstacles that health practitioners have in avoiding and reducing destructiveness essential in maintaining peace.

In the midst of wars and health initiatives is immensely effective in undermining mortality and morbidity, aiding in the prevention of conflict, and easing post-war reconciliation processes (Garry and Checchi 2020). This aspect can be achieved when a population in need is unhindered from meeting the public health strategy. When they are founded on a broad viewpoint and strategic planning, health programs can positively influence peacebuilding. Thus, it is necessary to consider both immediate and long-term issues, address fundamental necessities and human rights, engage local capabilities for change, and promote international collaborations and networking. On the other hand, health programs have little influence on peacebuilding when these prerequisites are not satisfied and only short-term objectives are present. Some of these projects may indirectly contribute to the war economy in certain situations.

In the contemporary setting, covid 19 is a pandemic that has shown scale and risk. Yet, even at the level of regional and sub-regional organisations, the national reactions have been startlingly disorganised. The predominant response in the afflicted nations has been to restrict “non-essential” activity and severely curtail foreign (and in some cases, domestic) travel. These nations were among the first to be affected by the disease and the implemented reaction measures. Da’ar, Haji, and Jradi (2020) contend that in a crisis of this size, many lack essential resources such as hospital beds and specialised equipment, including protective gear for frontline responders. A lack of vital medical supplies has led governments to examine global supply networks for items that suddenly become strategic or attempt to divert them. According to a World Bank expert, economic indications point to a deep recession beyond anything seen since World War II (Relief Web, 2020a). Countries with a weak health support system may have had harsh consequences, especially vulnerable populations such as refugees.

Earlier, some diseases such as HIV/AIDS and Ebola had their initial meetings conducted by the USA to generate attention and call for action where there was an insufficient response and poor coordination. Covid 19, on the other hand, has the attention of several global actors such as governments and health organisations, but there is a short in a globally coordinated response (Relief Web, 2020a). The rise in this global health crisis is a direct threat to international peace and the secondary impacts felt. For example, in Darfur, the epidemic and other obstacles have caused the timeframe for the Juba peace process to be repeatedly extended (Relief Web, 2020b).

Global Health, Violence, and Armed Conflicts

Violence and armed conflict are significant causes of mortality and injuries across the globe. Before one can correctly measure its impact, we need improved ways for quantifying the effects of violence and armed conflict on international peace. According to Garry and Checchi (2020), Most of human history has been marked by armed warfare between warring nations and within states. Violence is a concept that dates back to the colonization periods where some people, especially the Europeans, had developed the craft of overtaking the political powers of other nations and establishing settlements while unlawfully exploiting individuals for economic gain (Fanon, 1963). This practice dated back to the 15th century, and it is still practiced today, but the practice has shape-shifted to human manipulation In addition to the apparent fatalities and injuries on the battlefield, the conflict has health implications due to population relocation, the breakdown of health and social services, and an increased risk of disease transmission. Medical research and policy haven’t paid as much attention to armed conflict as they have to other sources of sickness and death, despite their enormity. A different set of scholars has researched the origins of conflict for a long time, focusing on the decision-making processes that lead to war rather than human suffering.

Violent conflict on a large scale is a worldwide health problem of enormous proportions. Following well-established global health criteria, such conflicts transcend national boundaries, may be impacted by international conditions or experiences, are best handled through interdisciplinary cooperation, and have a significant direct and indirect impact on population health—intense physical, emotional, and societal harm armed combat (Shapiro and Hua, 2020). Military recruitment, forced migration, and the loss of parental figures all contribute to altering the family structure during the armed war.

The effects of war on populations arise from the direct impact of battles, armed conflict, and violence. These consequences can be felt even several years after the war has ended. As a result of measuring conflict’s health impacts, risk evaluations might be based on a solid empirical foundation. There have been some significant achievements in recent years for political scientists in predicting international and intranational disputes. State failure projections have also recently grown more reliable. But they only occur once a year and are based on data that is often out of date when they’re finished. Forecasts of conflict risk must be revised in real-time, based on news reports or eyewitness experiences. If these measures are considered, there is a chance to make better measurements and validated projections. The public health community will be able to fulfil its duty of assessing risk.

Global Health and Global Migration

Under some circumstances, the concept of migration poses a threat to peace and stability either globally or at a national level. In 2006 in the United States, many immigrants, both legal and illegal, took to the streets for nearly two months whereby the “Immigration reform” was derailed by legally and vulnerable individuals who sparked a political crisis in the United States by weakening anti-terrorist complacency and patriotism in the political establishment’s official discourse (De Genova, 2010). This revolution developed due to the development of the state of strict immigration laws when there was massive immigration to the unites states. This aspect portrays an attempt where immigrants threaten the terrorism measures, weakening its capability to scrutinize immigrants for a potential threat.

In recent years, migration and health have been acknowledged as global health priorities. They are increasing in scope and complexity due to mixed flows of economic, enforced, and irregular migration. A particular dimension is added by migration itself when it comes to the social determinants of health since migrants are more susceptible to negative impacts on their health. Health disparities between and within nations are influenced by many of the same variables that drive migration. Migration is said to be a health determinant because, as a result of societal injustices, migrants are likely to encounter a variety of challenges that threaten their physical, mental, and social well-being (Davies, Basten, and Frattini, 2019). Immigrants, especially in destination or transit countries, typically experience poverty and social isolation, which have detrimental impacts on their health. Also, the host environment’s availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of services significantly impact migrants’ health.

As with the rest of the population, refugees and migrants have health concerns; however, certain groups may have a higher incidence than others. Common health issues with refugees and migrants include accidental mishaps, hypothermia, burns, gastrointestinal diseases, myocardial infarction, pregnancy- and delivery-related difficulties (WHO, n.d.). Sexual health and violence are common issues for women who are either refugees or migrants. Refugees and migrants are more vulnerable to noncommunicable illnesses due to the hazards associated with population migrations, including psychological disorders, reproductive health issues, increased infant mortality, drug addiction, nutrition disorders, alcoholism, and violence (WHO, n.d.). In the lack of adequate health care systems and services, noncommunicable illnesses cause interruptions in care. Policymakers often overlook women’s needs as they try to establish acceptable migration policies. Migrant women have numerous vulnerabilities due to the design of migration policies, from micro to macro levels. A study by Nhengu (2020) found that bilateral migration agreements should be comprehensive, binding, gender-sensitive, and participative in nature.

Furthermore, immigrants are the main aspects for the spread of highly infectious diseases. As a result of their lengthy and gruelling trips, migrants are more susceptible to communicable diseases, including measles and food and water-borne infections (WHO, n.d.). They become vulnerable to these infections picking them from one region and infecting individuals in the transit regions or destination regions. To identify the rates of human morbidity, rate of infection transfer from one individual to another, there is a need to monitor outbreak progression, anticipate future spread, and allocate resources for surveillance and containment. For instance, the Mobility of people was a crucial component in spreading the Ebola virus in the West African region (Wickramage et al., 2018). Correspondingly, the spread of Covid 19 in the current era was influenced by the movement of individuals from one region to another arising a global health issue.

There are inequalities entrenched in social structures, policies, and institutions that create and repeat global patterns of morbidity and death that result in population movements. Assimilation and acculturation are not the only changes immigrants must make. They must also negotiate with the transit regions’ social structural, political, and economic factors and their host regions (National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2018). It is important to note that the health of immigrants is a significant challenge to global health, which threatens peace and stability. Most immigrant health initiatives are designed to avoid the arrival of a small number of historically substantial illnesses that have spread over national lines. Still, they play at best a modest part in international disease control actions in the current environment. Many of the diseases that pose a danger to public health worldwide are directly related to population movement.

Global Inequality

The world is a realm of inequities. As a result, not everyone has equal rights, access to the same opportunities, or access to the same quality of life. This is an aspect that will remain a pressing issue, especially on the economic specs. Some of the elements that have catalysed inequality are globalisation and the Industrial Revolution, making countries extremely rich. In contrast, others are extremely poor but still compete and specialise in different parts with the rich countries (Bourguignon 2016). However, various aspects give a reason to poverty or affluence of certain nations, such as structural reasons, political issues, systems, an abundance of resources, lack of diversification, historical grounds, geographical matters.

Global economic inequality is an issue that has become a prominent aspect in the contemporary world.People and groups are excluded from development because of systemic inequities entrenched in the global economic architecture as well as institutional discrimination based on sex and gender as well as age and disability (UNHR, 2018). Besides destroying human dignity, this action endangers the rule of law and the fulfilment of all civil, political, economic, and social rights (United Nations, 2021).An overall decrease in faith in the ability of politics and public institutions to meet majority needs is due to the concentration of wealth and income among the societal classes of different nations of the world.

Political systems become unstable when there is a lack of confidence and democracy is hindered. Its impact on the investment and economic growth climate poses a danger to the nation’s economy. As a result, it poses a threat to the fabric that keeps our society together. However, if policy decisions are regarded as outrageously unjust, faith in institutions can be damaged to address social concerns and produce and distribute public resources (United Nations, 2021). Increasing inequality leads to dissatisfaction, political dysfunction, and perhaps violent conflict. Violence and group-based inequality have a good link, in particular. Anger and violence have frequently been sparked by actual or perceived inequalities between social groups in terms of access to economic resources and public services, political procedures and political power, and other areas of civic and cultural life (UNHR, 2018). When income and wealth are distributed along ethnic or religious lines, research shows that it may be particularly damaging to societal cohesiveness, inciting resentment, jealousy, and a sense of injustice.

Global insecurity is a matter to be addressed in the 21st century that is likely to develop from the division of nations as per their political prowess (Buzan, 1991). In the concept of security in this century, there is likely to be a rise in an uprising between the western countries who have labeled ad superpowers who have triumphed over the concepts of capitalism and third world countries being dependent on this nation. There is a likelihood for the development of an uprising between the Centre and periphery nations.

Conversely, global health has a direct relationship to global economic growth and equality. People’s capacity to locally adapt information and technology about health that have been discovered or created elsewhere is critical to their well-being in modern times. Among the primary health-related aspects that have an impact on economic growth are life expectancy and infant mortality. Economic growth and living conditions are more outstanding in jurisdictions a longer life expectancy and lower death rates at birth than in all other countries (Ray and Linden, 2018). Unfortunately, economists have only recently come to recognise the fact that health is a critical component of human resource development that supports economic performance and that improved well-being may be justified from a solely economic perspective (United Nations, 2021). Henceforth, disparity arises with the distribution of financial resources among societal classes whereby affluent societies have better health as compared to low-class individuals. The same concept applies to a global setting where rich nations have a good health status compared to developing countries.

In healthcare, and economic inequality is seen with the rise of privatisation of healthcare services. Many countries’ public health care is negatively affected by the World Trade Organisation’s indirect promotion of public health services (Benatar, Gill, and Bakker, 2011). The world trade organisation is a body that operates on the economic grounds of the world that raises inequality in health. Unfairness in income and health will continue to increase due to a market-driven future in which new technologies are used primarily to benefit the rich.

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An excellent example of such a scenario is the Covid 19 pandemic that has hit developing countries the hardest compared to stable countries. With the privatisation of health services, only a few within the rational economic grounds are able to cater to treatment, leaving out the economically depreciated in society. Tensions and instability will increase as the pandemic’s effect rises, exacerbated by global recovery disparities. Meanwhile, the affluent nations get easy access to vaccination, the developing world, especially conflict-torn and unstable nations, risks being left behind, which would be devastating to peace and security (UN Security Council, 2021). This aspect has led to conflict and disruption of social order. For instance, rioting and a jailbreak in Colombia over the alleged lack of protection from the illness killed 23 inmates (Crisis Group, 2021). Also, the pandemic is threatening the state of peace in South Sudan with the delay of the implementation of peace initiatives (UN Security Council, 2021). Such aspects are affecting the developing nations with threatens global peace and stability.


In international relations, peace and stability are essential phenomena that enable developmental goals across the globe. It is important to note that the main threats of peace are rooted in the severe causes of conflict within a societal setting that escalates to a global scale. Global health has been analysed in this paper to be a significant threat to peace and stability across the globe and having a direct relationship to other aspects that all equate to conflict and unrest. War entails various and multifaceted outcomes such as direct human suffering and economic disruptions, preventing such nations from achieving the Millennium Development Goals and other development goals. The aspects of threats to peace and stability are majorly attributed to globalisation and the effects are felt in most developing nations. Research should be inclined towards developing prospects that will give a positive feedback loop that will be progressively established between sustainable development and peace, creating a positive feedback between peace and sustainable development primarily by addressing the significant threats to peace and stability, such as global health.


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