Citizenship in Pandemic Times


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1– 14 June 2021

The 18th annual conference of the Center for the Study of Citizenship, based at Wayne State University, is online this year and is co-sponsored by the Centre for Citizenship, Civil Society and Rule of Law (CISRUL) at the University of Aberdeen and the Citizens, Nations and Migration (CNaM) Network based at the University of Edinburgh.

The COVID-19 pandemic has affected citizenship in myriad ways. Since January 2020, governments across the world have made extraordinary demands on citizens and non-citizens.

Few of us had previously experienced or imagined such calls to change how we work, live, and play. Citizens have taken it upon themselves to denounce others for failing to heed the restrictions, and some have volunteered to aid struggling health services. Others protest the curbs on their freedom and livelihood, within and beyond democracies, as well as the unevenness in harm and the burdens of care, nationally and globally. The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated inequalities of race, gender, social class and nationality. It has also called into question current political and economic models, and the relationship they imply with the natural world.

Governments design and implement policies to target groups for protective measures from furlough to vaccination, as well as to call on and reward others for service, introducing new fault lines into citizenship. Citizens’ engagement with governments, and with each other and with non-citizens, continues to evolve in ways that vary globally.

In these ways and more, the lens of citizenship promises to yield important insights into our scholarly and public understanding of the world that is emerging in 2021.

Panels and individual paper presentations for this online conference will be held in daily slots over the period 1-14 June 2021.