Diseasescape and immobility governance : COVID-19 and its aftermaths

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Number of pages16
Journal / PublicationMobilities
Online published15 Dec 2022
Publication statusOnline published - 15 Dec 2022


COVID-19 upended both the existing world order and the research agenda of academics. In both cases, one crucial feature was a net shift from an expansive ‘hyper mobile’ world to a strong emphasis on the immobilization of people. With growing anxieties about the risks and dangers involved in human mobility, there was a turn in mobility studies: an ‘immobility turn’ agonized by a rapidly evolving diseasescape shaped at the intersection of a rapidly evolving virus and rapidly evolving human responses to it. This paper seeks to examine the dynamic dialectical relationship between this diseasescape and human (im)mobility that has resulted in the formation of a new mobility hierarchy that stresses ‘sanitized mobility’. This in turn heightens human inequality. The pandemic has also forced a competition in ‘immobility governance’—testing different models of governing health security within and beyond borders. The paper sheds new light on the emerging scholarship on ‘immobility and pandemic’ by examining the multifariousness in ‘immobility governance’ and interrogating the uneven state capacity in ensuring ‘sanitized mobility’ and practicing ‘immobility governance’ that will bring different outcomes in national and international health security in the post-COVID era.

Research Area(s)

  • COVID-diseasescape, immobility governance, mobility hierarchy, sanitized mobility, mobility justice