The politics of sanitization : Pandemic crisis, migration and development in Asia-Pacific

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

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-224
Number of pages20
Journal / PublicationAsian and Pacific Migration Journal
Issue number3
Online published22 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2022


COVID-19 has resulted in new anxieties about the risks and dangers involved in human mobility and forced governments to simultaneously re-engineer policies for temporary health control and longer-term border-crossing and migration policies; characterized by the sanitization of space and mobility. This special issue considers the policies, including health and non-health measures, that have impacts on migrant workers and migration. While COVID control measures are often phrased in medical language and policy discourses, they often serve multiple goals including political and social control. The papers in this issue cover different places in Asia and the Pacific. We propose the "politics of sanitization" as a conceptual framework to examine the multiple dimensions of state governance and the variegated impacts upon migrants, including: (1) sanitizing space and borders, (2) stigmatization and sanitizing migrants’ bodies, (3) sanitizing ethnic borders and the national body, and (4) reorganizing the borders of sanitization and membership of society.

Research Area(s)

  • politics of sanitization, migrant workers, migration and development, COVID-19