Coronavirus: borders, citizenship, mobility

by Lorenzo Piccoli


This pandemic will impact all of us enormously, and in a variety of different ways. I do not dare venturing into areas I do not know, so my thinking has been focused chiefly on borders, citizenship, and mobility. Here is what came out of it.

In a first article, published on GLOBALCIT together with Jelena Dzankic, we discuss the role citizenship plays in the context of public health responses to emergencies, including evacuations and quarantines, travel and socio-cultural constraints. In a second article, published on the blog of the nccr – on the move together with Joëlle Moret, we write that the current crisis of mobility further reinforces social and national inequalities. In the infographic, which we realised for the nccr – on the move together with Andreas Perret and Jelena Dzankic, we show the quick diffusion of border closure globally and the categories that are most frequently exempted (nationals, residents, diplomats, transport personnel, family members of nationals…).

This is a small contribution to understanding what is happening in the world these days. It has little to do with the medical social implications of this virus: there are other people who are much better situated to explain that. But it is important because, I am afraid, the sudden restrictions to borders introduced in the last few weeks won’t disappear overnight.