The Coronavirus and Mobility Forum


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 basic human practices, they frame how global society is organized and disrupted. They are mananged by national and international policies and regulations.

This forum facilitates brainstorming among researchers from multiple disciplines across the world to deepen our understandings of the crisis, and to explore new tools in migration research that will help us to 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 as well as within a country; daily commutes and family mobility; mobile work (e.g. taxi drivers and delivery workers); and mobile 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 of all kinds during the pandemic.

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

Principal Investigator

Biao Xiang, Professor of Social Anthropology

News & Media

The new power of the technologies of immobility
Blog | Sharifah Muhammad Talib Alhinai

‘Unprecedented’ pandemic and the crisis of mobility in India
Blog | Vyoma Dhar Sharma

When home does not exist, what does self-quarantine mean: street children in Tehran
Blog | Shahram Khosravi

Hoarding: (Im)mobilizing things
Blog | Dace Dzenovska

How and why the mobility of a virus has led to abolishing key civil liberties
Blog | Franck Düvell

Emptiness (Part II): An uncertain spring
Blog | Mathilde Morin

Mobile Livelihoods in Stress
Blog | Biao Xiang

In Heterotopic Times; (Im)mobility, Social-Distancing, and Surveillance
Blog | Georgios Glouftsios

Human mobility spreads COVID-19, but whose mobility?
Blog | Qiujie Shi and Tao Liu

Down or Out? Mobility and the management of epidemics
Blog | Jennifer Holdaway

Emptiness (Part I): The empty streets of Blackpool
Blog | Dace Dzenovska

The Corona-pandemic: from parasitic mobility to convenient crisis
Blog | Stephan Scheel

Here we cope, here we observe, here we think and think together: a response to Robin Cohen
Blog | Biao Xiang

‘Take me home’: The coronavirus virus and panic mobility
Blog | Robin Cohen

Borders in the Time of Coronavirus: How the COVID-19 Pandemic Upended the Global Mobility Paradigm
Blog | Gilda Borriello and Asli Salihoglu

Locked-down cities, flying machines, and growing weeds: A note from China’s Epicentre
Blog | Ou Ning

Coronavirus: A (missed) chance to rethink racism?
Blog | Domiziana Turcatti

From Chain Reaction to Grid Reaction: Mobilities & Restrictions during SARS & Coronavirus
Blog | Biao Xiang