The Coronavirus and Mobility Forum

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Welcome to the Coronavirus and Mobility forum facilitated by Professor Biao Xiang.

How can a mobility perspective shed light on the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis, and what can we learn about mobilities throughout the pandemic and for the future?

Mobilities are not only fundamental human practices; they frame how global society is organized and disrupted, and national and international policies and regulations manage them.

This forum facilitates discussion among researchers from multiple disciplines worldwide to deepen our understanding of the crisis and explore new migration research tools that will help us make sense of the fast-moving world. The forum is a platform for ongoing reflections and discussions and is not currently a defined research project. The views expressed in the forum are of individual authors rather than those of COMPAS.

We conceive mobility broadly, including cross-border migration and within a country; daily commutes and family mobility; mobile work (e.g. taxi drivers and delivery workers); and nomadic lifestyles (e.g. travelling communities and tourists). Apart from the movement of people, we also consider the movement of goods such as equipment and medical samples. Immobility is equally important as we witness the erection of borders and boundaries during the pandemic.

Click on the Outputs tab (above) to find the Coronavirus and Mobility Forum blogs divided by theme.

Why do mobilities matter, and What can researchers do to help?

Principal Investigator

Biao Xiang, Professor of Social Anthropology


This is a list of the most recent Forum blogs; previous blogs can be found by clicking on the Outputs tab above (immediately below the title The Coronavirus and Mobility Forum)

The Forum is partnering with China’s The Paper to dual-publish some contributions in both English and Chinese.

COVID Flash Talks, a student-led webinar series accompanying contributions in the Forum, can be found here.