The securitization of mobilities is the effort to make mobilities safe for the state, the public and for the migrants themselves, though one party’s safety is often another party’s hazard. Specific measures include contact tracing; logistical intervention; contactless delivery; and traveller screening and qualification. These measures do not necessarily reduce mobilities, and a key goal of the securitization is to ensure continuous circulations of goods, capital and people as a basis of the economy.
India imposed a national lockdown at the early stage of the pandemic in March 2020, but opted for local containment in 2021 when the situation was much worse. What explain the policy choices? How have the measures affected residents, especially migrants, differently? — Mukta Naik, Biao Xiang
The Chinese government reacted to the COVID-19 pandemic by imposing blanket monitoring over the entire population through ‘grids’ of residential communities. This measure of securitizing mobilities is new as compared to what the government did during the SARS outbreak in 2003. This is due to changes in patterns of mobility and in governance. — Biao Xiang
The ambiguous policy of the Swedish Migration Agency regarding non-European students’ resident permits and the decentralised decision-making process created uncertainties for both students and universities during the COVID-19 pandemic. — Gloria Gemma
Contact tracing apps have been employed to control and contain COVID-19, with varying consequences for everyday life, and implications for individuals’ rights to privacy. — Vidya Ramachandran