Civil War In Africa: Exploring Its Consequences

This Civil War was devastating for Liberia, but it had greater consequences for Sierra Leone because of the spillover effect. Liberia caused a Civil War in Sierra Leone by the main rebel group in the Liberian Civil War also being involved in the Sierra Leone conflict. The rebel group, National Patriotic Front of Liberia stationed in Liberia, led by Charles Taylor, provided weapons and funds to the rebels called Revolutionary United Front (RUF), who were fighting the Sierra Leonean government in an attempt to overthrow it. Murdoch and Sandler also look into the spillover effect; they theorize that when neighborhood spillovers are substantial, this assistance may have to be “augmented to counteract civil war externalities for an aid-recipient nation to stay on its path to a higher steady-state level of gross domestic product (GDP) per capita, but in the short run growth spillover has a negative effect on it”( Murdoch and Sandler). This conflict situation is a perfect representation of spillover that has a negative effect because the Liberian Civil War and its spread to Sierra Leone, particularly since 1995, caused a total collapse of their economy. The country was troubled economically because the black market in Sierra Leone was used frequently, meaning people were buying products at the same rate as the legal market; it increased in the lawless conditions of civil war. Sierra Leone’s economy was in crisis mode, mainly in the years leading up to the civil conflict. The economy was very unstable, with economic growth rates fluctuating between 7% and -7%, but during the civil war, the growth rate dipped as low as -17% (Trading Economics). Investments in Sierra Leone also decreased as a result of the conflict spillover. Today, Sierra Leone reported steady growth in foreign direct investment, but in 2012, an Ebola epidemic slowed growth until 2017.

Bayer and Rupert looked into International Trade during the years 1950-1992; one key finding from their analysis is that “of 120 countries between 1950 and 1992 is that civil wars decrease trade between states by at least one-third” and is not restricted to just the host country, but the whole region economically is affected (Bayer and Rupert). This is critical in my analysis because they connect their paper with Murdoch and Sandler’s, which states there is an economic spillover effect. Civil Wars will make entry to the war-torn country’s markets by a new trader difficult because there is pressure to stay away from the conflict. Current traders in the market will try to keep out new traders since they want most of the market share; this also applies the investments in a country.

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As stated previously, the money invested in human capital declines though the amount of human capital is increased. Thus, long-term growth can be hindered because efforts are not focused on education either directly through their involvement in combat or because the conflict does not allow them to reach their school. This can be seen in an article written by Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, “the post-war economic growth is not really an increase in economic potential, but that these enhanced levels of growth are only due to the fact that existing capital can be reutilized, the analysis showed that although increase in per capita GDP it did not pass pre-war levels” (Collier and Hoeffler 2004). This has stayed constant with previous civil wars. They investigated and explained Sierra Leone perfectly. During the war and to this day, throughout much of the country, they have no access to water, sanitation, or electricity. Murdoch and Sandler examined how they only see that in effects in the short run rather than the long run. I believe that after the Civil War is over, the country’s economy will receive aid; initially, a small number of investors will begin reinvesting again, and finally, human capital will be introduced again into the labor market. This caused Sierra Leone to receive aid from multiple: agencies, bilateral donors, developmental programs, and banks and thus made the transition from war to reconstruction very easy. Since the spillover, the country still has a high unemployment rate, especially among the youth and low domestic revenue areas, therefore is still a very high dependency on foreign aid.

For both conflicts, there is no one simple solution because Civil Wars are complex situations that are constantly changing, especially economically. Presently both countries are at pre-war levels economically but haven’t exceeded them. I believe the connection between countries is evident, and Sierra Leone and Liberia can rebuild their infrastructure. Essential things such as roads will have a huge impact on the economy; roads are critical to nearly every aspect of both countries’ recovery. Roads are key to reducing rural poverty, as they allow rural consumers to buy goods more cheaply and open new markets and economic opportunities for farmers and other rural producers. They can also help create jobs directly through the operations of road construction and indirectly by creating new economic opportunities for people in rural areas. It will provide a network that will benefit economically and socially. In Chamberlin et al.’s, they theorize that an increase in market access from road network improvement is necessary to increase the amount of cultivated land in sub-Saharan Africa. Using this study, Berg et al. find that the annual growth rate of cropland area steadily increased over the period from 0.53% in the 1970–1980 decade to 1.67% in the 2000–2010 period (Berg et al. 2018). Suggestive evidence of a positive association between increases in cropland and local GDP growth and between increases in market access and local GDP growth beyond the effect through cropland expansion. This can be effective in both countries because not only do they rely on agriculture but also their natural resources. I would recommend an overhaul of their management of natural resource production. The government must shift away from the old model of largely centralized plantation agriculture to an economic model that encourages small ownership production such that production schemes are reassuring small productions like coffee and cocoa. This can lead to biodiversity and eliminate many environmental problems large plantations have on the cropland. Implementing this type of reform would be critical to creating jobs and building a more inclusive rural economy.

South Sudan Conflict

South Sudan is the world’s newest nation. They gained their independence on January 9th, 2011. The citizens of now South Sudan voted in 2005 to separate from the north and became an independent nation by a wide margin. The newly created country had many different ethnic groups that didn’t have an enemy in common, and they relied on their religious background as a badge of glory, not their national identity, which led to a South Sudan Civil War. This conflict has over 2.47 million estimated refugees and asylum-seekers, and “18,802 total United Nations personnel have been deployed into the country” (Campbell). The two sides in the South Sudan Civil War have signed a peace agreement as of July 29, 2018. The result of this peace agreement is critical in the region; it will open opportunities for waterways, trade, and travel. It will bring life and stability back to the region. This paper has explained the negative effects of the Civil Wars and conflicts on a neighboring country, but there are some positives too. The CIA states that Kenya has taken in 114,432 Registered refugees and asylum-seekers out of the 2.47 million that fled. I think, in part, this is why the spillover effect had minimal effect on Kenya’s economy. “About 90% of consumed goods, capital, and services are imported from neighboring countries – mainly Uganda, Kenya, and Sudan” (CIA). Since this is the case, armies and civilians have to eat; this led to spillover into Ethiopia also. In Ethiopia, many border villages reported raids and killings. One example is twenty-six South Sudanese military soldiers taking 108 cattle and, in another neighborhood, killing twenty-eight people and kidnapping forty-eight children (Campbell). Since this incident, the Ethiopian military increased its military spending by thirty million US dollars. The Ethiopian government is taking this very seriously because they have also experienced a civil war recently and do not want to experience another deadly conflict. Even though they signed a peace agreement, there is always a likelihood that they will violate it as they have done before.

Although civil wars have domestic origins, the burden of cleaning up the mess in the aftermath of civil wars seems to be shared with the International Community. Each country in that region wants to help South Sudan because the country’s oil output “is expected to reach 210,000 barrels per day by the end of 2018” (MBah). So, countries need to think and take calculated steps to help them resolve the conflict. I believe the South Sudan civil war is a measuring stick on where the Horn of Africa is morally and economically is a disaster, but this is a conflict where it affects the big players of the region. If they cannot sustain peace, they will never make the advancements needed to improve technologically and economically.

Conclusion

All of these variables are very important because it harms people, country, and their economy. It is the reason why developing countries around the world cannot increase their expansion or growth. Their economy is halted, and the people are forced from their homes and leaving everything. This increases tension in the homeland or in the neighboring country that accepts refugees. Military conflicts are very complex situations, and they affect the global society. In this paper, I discussed three conflicts that have resulted in a spillover into neighboring countries; they are just two situations out of hundreds. I have explained what happens to both economies, the consequences of conflicts, and some reasonable solutions. As a world, we need to look at ourselves; these types of conflicts affect everyone either economically or morally.

Classification And Diagnosis Of A Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a psychological condition that causes a person to lose touch with reality. It is not the person’s fault who was diagnosed with schizophrenia that they have it; it is abnormalities in their brain that cause them to act as they do. Someone diagnosed with schizophrenia might experience hallucinations, delusions, and difficulty living a normal life. Schizophrenia only occurs in one percent of people, and the symptoms normally begin to show between the late teen years and 30 years old. While young children can be diagnosed with schizophrenia, it is very rare. Similarly, it is very rare for someone over the age of 45 to be diagnosed. Schizophrenia is equally as common in men as it is in women, but men begin showing symptoms earlier than women. The following work is going to examine the symptoms, causes, and treatments of schizophrenia.

Symptoms of Schizophrenia

There are three categories for the symptoms of schizophrenia: positive, negative, and cognitive. Positive symptoms may include hallucinations, delusions, and abnormal body movements. Most schizophrenic people who experience hallucinations hear voices in their heads that are not real, but they might also see things that others cannot see. These experiences seem as real to the person with schizophrenia as any other experience, so it is challenging for them to decipher between real life and their hallucinations. Delusions are beliefs a person holds that are not true. For example, they might believe that someone on the television is talking directly to them, or they might believe that they have extraordinary athletic abilities even though they do not. The last positive symptom a person with schizophrenia may exhibit is abnormal body movements, such as moving very slowly or very fast. During catatonia, they stop moving altogether and must have someone else help them with basic life skills. However, they may also move fast, making abnormal gestures or sitting in odd positions. One reason for these movements is because of hallucinations or delusions in which they believe they are being told to act a certain way.

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Negative Symptoms and Cognitive Impairments

The negative symptoms of schizophrenia are very similar to those of depression. They may include a lack of visible emotion, a lack of interest in activities, or a lack of sociability. A lack of sociability includes difficulty at work and making friends. This may cause them to drop out of school or quit working. They may become very quiet, rarely speaking or carrying on a conversation. People who experience negative symptoms often seem to lose their ability to enjoy life. They do not enjoy the activities that at one time they loved, partly because they do not have the motivation or energy to follow through with those activities. Many times, they prefer to stay at home and only be around a select few people. Schizophrenic people may also show a decline in caring for themselves, cleanliness,s, and grooming. Their emotions may also become very sporadic; one day, they may be in a great mood, while the next, they might be depressed and angry.

Cognitive symptoms involve having trouble learning, focusing, and remembering information. For those still in school, they struggle to keep up because they cannot learn as easily as others. They do not process information as quickly as others, and they think in an illogical pattern. While talking to them, they might, in the middle of a conversation, start talking about something completely different. They also have trouble focusing on one thing. Schoolwork and other various jobs can take them much longer than the average person because their mind will continually wander to other thoughts. Additionally, though they might have something to say, they have trouble expressing that idea to others. Unfortunately, due to these cognitive symptoms, schizophrenic people do not realize that something is wrong with them.

Diagnosis and Types

Diagnosing schizophrenia is often difficult due in part to the fact that people with schizophrenia do not realize they have the disorder to diagnose. First, doctors will do many tests to determine a person’s symptoms, but there is not a single, absolute test to diagnose schizophrenia. These tests include physical examinations, brain scans, and liver, thyroid, and urine tests. Once they have figured out the patient’s symptoms, the doctor must discern whether that person has schizophrenia or another psychological condition. The doctor must also rule out the use of drugs as the cause of the symptoms. In order to diagnose a person with schizophrenia, that person must have had at least six months of two or more symptoms. If that person has had extreme hallucinations or delusions, though, their diagnosis may be given with only one symptom. Someone’s doctor might diagnose them as having a paranoid type, disorganized type, catatonic type, residual type, or undifferentiated type of schizophrenia. These are determined by the specific symptoms they experience most frequently. Paranoid-type schizophrenia occurs when they have delusions about people coming after them. The symptoms they experience are primarily positive. If a patient has irrational thoughts, leading to confusing speech and behavior, they may be demonstrating a disorganized type. The disorganized type is much easier to recognize than the paranoid type because the symptoms are clearly visible to those around them. If they cannot move at all or move or speak excessively and inappropriately, they may exhibit a catatonic type. A person with catatonic type schizophrenia often has no purpose for their actions, and they will sometimes even copy the actions and behaviors of others. The residual type is classified as losing the positive symptoms but still having the negative symptoms. This type of schizophrenia is not considered active because its effects are milder and easier to cope with. The generic form of schizophrenia is called undifferentiated because it does not fall into any other type. They may show symptoms from multiple categories of schizophrenia, so they cannot be classified specifically under just one. Another form of schizophrenia is schizoaffective disorder. Schizoaffective disorder happens when a person experiences all the symptoms of schizophrenia, in addition to drastic mood changes.

Causes and Risk Factors

While researchers are not certain exactly what causes schizophrenia, they have learned that it relates to differences in a person’s brain structure and genetics. People with schizophrenia have been found to have irregular amounts of the neurotransmitter dopamine in their brains. When too much dopamine is released, hallucinations can occur. Abusing drugs like marijuana may also increase a person’s risk for schizophrenia because it brings about psychotic behaviors, which may not go away even after stopping. Researchers have also noticed that people with schizophrenia have “enlarged, fluid-filled areas and a corresponding shrinkage and thinning of cerebral tissue” (Myers, 2014, p. 531). Other parts of the brain shrink as well, including the cortex, corpus callosum, and thalamus. Because these are not the size they should be, the functions they control will not be the same as others with normal-sized parts. This explains some of the cognitive symptoms of schizophrenia. People who have family members with schizophrenia are much more likely to get the disorder themselves, and those who have an identical twin with schizophrenia are especially at risk. Genetics influence the likelihood of getting schizophrenia during their lifetime, but it is environmental influences that cause schizophrenia to appear. People are more likely to get schizophrenia later in life when they are exposed to a virus in the womb as a fetus. This, as well as not getting enough oxygen during delivery and having a low birth weight, cause problems in the development of the baby’s brain, which may cause schizophrenia. There are at least two theories for why schizophrenia does not appear until early adulthood. One is that there is a problem with the way the brain developed during adolescence, or the second is that the brain could have sustained an injury during the early beginning of the child’s life that affected the brain’s development into adulthood. Researchers are still searching for a way to predict, based on genetic information, who will have schizophrenia later on in life.

Treatment and Management

Since there is still uncertainty about what causes schizophrenia, no cure has been found for it. However, there are ways to manage its symptoms. One option is to take antipsychotic medication, which can be taken as a pill, liquid, or shot. Antipsychotic medicines target chemical imbalances in the brain, preventing an excess of neurotransmitters like dopamine. Other medicines may also be prescribed to control mood changes and other behavior problems. Reducing the amount of stress a person with schizophrenia experiences is also an important way to manage its symptoms. Another effective form of treatment is psychotherapy, in which a schizophrenic person might be taught ways to deal with their symptoms and how to regain the ability to live a normal life. Unfortunately, since they do not recognize that they have this disorder, people with schizophrenia refuse to take medicine or get help on their own and, as a result, have to battle the symptoms for the rest of their lives.

Conclusion

Schizophrenia is a serious disorder that should not be taken lightly. A person with schizophrenia might experience positive, negative, or cognitive symptoms, including hallucinations, delusions, an inability to enjoy life, and an inability to learn and remember. There are multiple categories of schizophrenia, including paranoid, disorganized, catatonic, undifferentiated, and residual. Scientists and researchers believe that schizophrenia is brought about by problems with a person’s brain, influenced by genetics, and triggered by factors in their environment. There is no cure for schizophrenia yet, but with antipsychotic medication and psychotherapy, people with schizophrenia can learn to live a fairly normal life again. Learning about disorders like schizophrenia is important to ensure that the patient receives the proper treatment to allow them and their families to manage the disorder. It also helps those around people with schizophrenia to understand what that person is going through and how to better help them.

Works Cited

  1. American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.). American Psychiatric Publishing.
  2. Bleuler, E. (1911). Dementia Praecox or the Group of Schizophrenias. International Universities Press.
  3. Myers, D. G. (2014). Psychology (10th ed.). Worth Publishers.
  4. Rosenberg, S. D., Mueser, K. T., Friedman, M. J., Gorman, P. G., Drake, R. E., Vidaver, R. M., & Torrey, W. C. (2001).Developing effective treatments for schizophrenia patients: the Schizophrenia Patient Outcomes Research Team (PORT) project. Schizophrenia Bulletin, 27(1), 95-108.
  5. Schizophrenia and Related Disorders Alliance of America. (2021). Understanding Schizophrenia.
  6. Seeman, P. (1987). Dopamine receptors and the dopamine hypothesis of schizophrenia. Synapse, 1(2), 133-152.
  7. Tandon, R., Nasrallah, H. A., & Keshavan, M. S. (2009). Schizophrenia, “Just the Facts” what we know in 2008. 2. Epidemiology and etiology. Schizophrenia Research, 102(1-3), 1-18.
  8. Walker, E. F., & Diforio, D. (1997). Schizophrenia: a neural diathesis–stress model. Psychological Review, 104(4), 667-685.

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