This paper considers the implications of COVID for open borders. It notes that while COVID concerns do not directly challenge arguments for open borders, the pandemic has revealed two more general phenomena that are salient for such arguments. The first concerns the increasing unmooring of legal borders from physical spaces and the interaction of surveillance and identification technologies with this process. The second addresses the issue of interdependency and the potentially negative implications of open borders if not underpinned by a global basic structure.
David Owen is Professor of Social & Political Philosophy at the University of Southampton. He has published widely on issues of democratic theory and of migration. His most recent book is What Do We Owe to Refugees? (Polity 2020). E-mail: email@example.com
Beirens, Hanne. 2020. “The COVID-19 Pandemic Suggests the Lessons Learned by European Asylum Policymakers After the 2015 Migration Crisis Are Fading,” Migration Policy Institute. www.migrationpolicy.org/news/pandemic-lessons-learned-europe-asylum-fading.)| false
Erturk, Selma Akay. 2020. “The Effects of COVID-19 on Syrian Refugees in Turkey,” Southern Responses to Displacement. https://southernresponses.org/2020/04/24/the-effects-of-covid-19-on-syrian-refugees-in-turkey/.)| false
Glasman, Maurice. 2020. “The Coronavirus Crisis Has Sounded the Death Knell for Liberal Globalisation.” New Statesman. www.newstatesman.com/politics/economy/2020/04/coronavirus-crisis-has-sounded-death-knell-liberal-globalisation?fbclid=IwAR2LybqHUn5rwQWRqYk_C8fdNQvnpQbA8HCsk2zl6ESyICRt36t9VFbgz54.)| false
Lenard, Patti Tamara. 2020. “Seeking Asylum During the Pandemic: On Why Borders Must Remain a Little Open,” Centre for International Policy Studies. www.cips-cepi.ca/2020/04/22/seeking-asylum-during-the-pandemic-on-why-borders-must-remain-a-little-open/?fbclid=IwAR086901YurOxRRXnWOJhO9d-1NwYDSugG7BWInQkXB0t5_LV0vlMCpoQdA.)| false
de Bengy PuyvalleeAntoine and SonjaKittelsen. 2019. “Disease Knows No Borders: Pandemics and the Politics of Global Health Security.” In Pandemics, Publics, and Politics, eds K.Bjorkdahl and B.Carlsen. Palgrave.
de Bengy PuyvalleeAntoine and SonjaKittelsen. 2019. “Disease Knows No Borders: Pandemics and the Politics of Global Health Security.” In Pandemics, Publics, and Politics, eds K.Bjorkdahl and B.Carlsen. Palgrave.)| false
Solberg, Erna and NanaAkufo-Addo. 2020. “Why We Cannot Lose Sight of the Sustainable Development Goals During Coronavirus,” World Economic Forum. www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/coronavirus-pandemic-effect-sdg-un-progress.)| false
Thompson, R. Net al.2019. “Increased Frequency of Travel in the Presence of Cross-Immunity May Act to Decrease the Chance of a Global Pandemic.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0274. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31056047.
Thompson, R. Net al.2019. “Increased Frequency of Travel in the Presence of Cross-Immunity May Act to Decrease the Chance of a Global Pandemic.” Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. doi: 10.1098/rstb.2018.0274. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31056047.)| false
UNHCR. 2020. “Beware Long-Term Damage to Human Rights and Refugee Rights from the Coronavirus Pandemic.” www.unhcr.org/news/press/2020/4/5ea035ba4/beware-long-term-damage-human-rights-refugee-rights-coronavirus-pandemic.html.)| false