During the global politics class on February 5th, we played a game called Pandemics! with four people per team to learn the connection with the key concept of globalization and interdependence along with the unit of global public health.
Throughout this game, no one was assigned a country but a role such as medics or research professionals, therefore it represented how state and non-state actors put aside their self-interest when it comes to combating a disease. This game was realistic in some aspects because as the time proceeds, there were new infections in different areas. This required everyone playing the game to think ahead when making an “action”. It was overall thrilling and exciting to play this game because there was a lot of conversation going on amongst the players to come up with strategies. However, if I were to play it again, I would build a medical center in each continent to efficiently eradicate the disease.
I clearly saw the links to the concepts of globalization and interdependence. Firstly, the action to “share knowledge” is a good representation of both globalization and interdependence. Not only it is a way of cooperation, but the capability to share resources or technologies so easily demonstrates the ability to be interdependent due to its interconnectedness. The information was shared across continents with a non-state actor taking the lead of the cooperation. In specific, the impact that the non-state actor has and how state actors contribute to their work, represent the non-state actor’s rise to power. Globalization in the contemporary global politics has allowed non-state actors to gain access to various resources and information. Thus provides a reason why as to, this game is based on the work of a non-state actor.
Furthermore, the players were allowed to fly to a different country if he/she had a card with that country’s name on it. This illustrated the accessibility to other countries in terms of transportation. However, this aspect of globalization has allowed the diseases, such mentioned in Pandemics!, to transmit very easily and rapidly. Therefore, it indicates the need for countries to improve the medical-security checks within their own borders.
What was interesting for me was that every player of the game actively cooperated and joined the discussions to combat the diseases. Hence, it represents the significance of health as a fundamental base to establish development in political, social and economic bases. “The World Bank considers that if we have a worldwide flu epidemic global wealth will go down by over 3 trillion dollars”, and this supports how global healthcare is the priority for each state to develop its economic power.
To conclude, the board game, Pandemic! gave me an insight of the element of globalization and interdependence regarding global public health and how it is a shared interest and need for many state actors. Therefore, I was able to understand that health is a crucial and fundamental base for the global politics to function.
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