Extending the boundaries of ‘urban society’: The urban political ecologies and pathologies of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa.
Refereed Article, 2021
Treffers, S., Ali, S. H., Keil, R., & Fallah, M. (2021). Extending the boundaries of ‘urban society’: The urban political ecologies and pathologies of Ebola Virus Disease in West Africa. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space.
A disease outbreak is an emergent product of social and ecological processes. To more fully understand disease outbreaks and their response, we must therefore consider how these dual processes interact in specific locales within the context of an increasingly urbanized world. As such, in this paper we examine the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) outbreak and its response in West Africa by adopting the lenses of two approaches that are usually treated separately – namely, urban political ecology (UPE) and urban political pathology (UPP). The UPE approach sheds light on how the material/biophysical basis of the EVD outbreak was influenced by the socio-political-economic and vice versa. The UPP approach gives us insight into how the EVD response was influenced by broader socio-political-economic forces, particularly the historical legacy of colonialism. Through the adoption of this dual lens we are able to gain greater insights and a more comprehensive understanding of the EVD outbreak and response in West Africa.