About

Pandemipolitics sets out to explore key questions that Covid-19 and previous pandemics have presented to global politics past, present and future.

It was founded and is administered by Dr Brieg Powel and Professor John Heathershaw and  includes posts from fellow academics  and students at the University of Exeter.  None of us are global health specialists but rather we seek to address questions of pandemipolitics from within the particular empirical and conceptual contexts of which we specialise.  For a reading list on pandemics and global health politics see this introductory one (and full-length one here) from Professor Sophie Sharman. Our primary audience is scholarly but we aim to contribute to the public debate and in the public interest where appropriate.

Our questions include:

  • How do we and might we conceptualise ‘disease’ and ‘pandemic’ in Politics and IR?
  • How does the crisis speak to, and how is it being spoken to, by the various ontologies and theories of the political and the international?
  • What lessons are there for the concepts the discipline holds dear, such as sovereignty and governance, and those which are more emergent, such as the transnational and populism?
  • How might we historicise pandemics and global responses to them?

And more immediately:

  • What does Covid-19 reveal about the subjects and objects of Politics and IR?
  • What role have power relations, both traditional and biopolitical, played in Covid-19’s spread and the global response(s)?
  • Which disparities and commonalities have been exposed, challenged, or reaffirmed by its spread?

From March-June 2020, we published theoretically- and historically-informed perspectives from academics at Exeter.  

From October 2020, we began a new teaching initiative with the course POL2163 Pandemic Politics.  Our academic-led blog has turned into a student-led vlog as presenters from Pandemic Politics publish their work here on the Pandemipolitics site.

Please contact pandemipolitics@gmail.com if you’d like to offer a guest post.

Follow us on twitter @pandemipolitics

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