Focus on Refugees in the Covid-19 Pandemic

Wednesday 1 April 2020

The current pandemic has rapidly come to dominate politics and society the world over. In the EU, national border controls, travel restrictions and lockdowns have suspended everyday life as we know it. Over and above the need to control the virus, the longer-term implications of these measures have already become key topics in the debate over our present and future.

Overcrowded refugee camps have posed a health hazard even before Covid-19 struck. With the European response focused on nation states and citizens, stateless refugees are left without any means of self-preservation.

Against this background, EUROZINE is publishing a mini-series to report on and raise awareness of the plight of refugees on the EU’s borders. Bilgin Ayata, Professor of Political Sociology at Basle University, and Director of the research project ‘Infrastructure Space and the Future of Migration Management: The Case of the EU Hotspots in the Mediterranean Borderscape’, introduces the series with an article on ‘The Limits of Protection’. This will be followed by contributions on Italy, Greece and the EU more generally. Further contributions and comments are welcomed.

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Bilgin Ayata is the keynote speaker at the IMLR’s conference on Home and Belonging, which was scheduled for 4-5 June, and will now be held at the Institute on 23-24 September 2020.