A pandemic is not just a medical emergency – it is also a political, economic, and social crisis. It implies new challenges for democratic institutions and practices, for citizenship rights and human rights as some of the restrictions on civil liberties put in place by liberal and illiberal democracies may well outlive the coronavirus. This special issue explores some tensions and dilemmas of democracies faced with the current crisis. “Politics of the Coronavirus Pandemics” addresses questions like: Can we speak of a decline in politics during the pandemic? While states have been using the full gamut of their sovereign prerogatives, has the political (temporarily) faded in the face of, for example, “expertise”? What will be the lasting impact of the rule by administrative fiat, and of emergency powers put in place in many countries? What kinds of agenda and instruments of civic activism are likely to emerge given that courts are rarely in session and public protest not permitted due to distancing rules? What are the likely consequences of these reconfigurations for democracy, governance, and welfare systems in the global South and North?
© Chappatte in The New York Times www.chappatte.com
The essays in this volume are the product of a new 'research practicum' course in the Department of Political Science and International Relations at the Graduate Institute in Geneva. They build on the debates on 'Urban Morphology and violence' to reflect on the associations between cities - their political orders and disorders - and outcomes ranging from occupation and resistance to marginalisation and containment. These texts foreshadow the possibility of centring - and challenging - the urban in our understanding of contemporary conflict, violence and peace. They are a first step in opening up a research agenda for a more textured analysis of spatial, geographical and temporal dynamics within the city in relation to violence, and, therefore, the mobilisation of spatial, temporal and visual modes of analysis. The promise is to make visible the varied roles of urban morphologies - adding to the debate on cities in and as sites of conflict.
Centring the Urban in Our Understanding of ViolenceReading time: 4 min
Italian HospitalityReading time: 6 min
Hybrid Political Orders in Urban SettingsReading time: 5 min
Aerial Occupation and Aerial Forensics in GazaReading time: 4 min
Naypyidaw, Myanmar: A Capital Devoid of ProtestsReading time: 4 min
Planetary Conflict: Exploring the Urban Geography of Boko HaramReading time: 5 min
Making Peace with Urban Political SettlementsReading time: 5 min
Informality as a Right to Necessity?Reading time: 5 min
Stagnation in the French BanlieuesReading time: 5 min
After the outbreak of COVID-19 – a virus constituting a genuinely worldwide risk – fear internationalised in just a few weeks. As the COVID crisis has profoundly shaken societies on a global scale it has contributed to a reconfiguration – perhaps a multiplication – of risks and their perceptions. While foremost constituting a biological hazard, the pandemic has large repercussions on other types of risks, ranging from long-term economic and digital disruption to psychological distress and political confrontation. The nature and frontiers of risks are thus moving as the multilateral system, the most adequate framework to deal with global risks, is ailing and current risk mitigation strategies are increasingly put to question. The six articles of the present Dossier explore these changing hierarchies of risk and the underpinning structural issues that endanger our existence.