Category: Beyond the COVID Curve

Does Infection Trump Everything?

On 7 April, prime minister Erna Solberg presented the government’s plan for reopening society. The plan provides predictability and clarity about prioritization, including the prioritization of children and young people. This is welcome, but the plan also reveals the problematic aspects of Norway’s handling of the coronavirus crisis.

Norwegian Quarantine Hotels: Infection Control or Penal Measure?

Quarantine hotels and Easter trips According to the Norwegian government, quarantine hotels are an infection-control measure. In this blog post we contest this view, and argue that the rules are penal in character. “We” are all Norwegian: four medical doctors, one psychologist, and three jurists. The rules distinguish between “necessary” and “unnecessary” travel, but the… Read more »

Why digital vaccine passports are a bad idea: the Norwegian perspective

Expanding the use of Covid-19 digital vaccine passports to domestic purposes would in practice represent a return to the checkpoint permit (in Norwegian ‘passerseddel’, in German “Passierschein”), a form of internal passport. This type of document is associated with authoritarian regimes and with war and conflict, last used in Norway during the Second World War.

Closed Borders, but Continued Migration?

Passing a year on from the massive closure of borders globally in March 2020 offers an opportunity to reflect on migration, borders and the pandemic. What has been the impact of closed borders on international migration? And what do some impacts look like: seasonal work, remittances, risk and recognition?

Nordic Noir: National Risk Assessments in Times of Peace and Pandemics

As a result of their criteria for what counts as risks, the national risk assessments of the Nordic countries currently resemble the crime genre of Nordic Noir, where the Nordic societies are rendered in a gloomy but revealing light. By zooming in on potential crises without placing these in a global or long-term perspective, they… Read more »

National Risk Assessments: a political vaccine against the next disaster?

The COVID-19 pandemic highlights the political potential of National Risk Assessments (NRAs). The consistent focus of European NRAs on the risk of pandemics while public attention was glued to terrorism demonstrates their relevance to the question of how to prevent and prepare for future disasters – be they natural or man-made. As a basis for… Read more »

COVID-19: Towards a Digital Fragmentation of the Right to Education?

COVID-19 lockdowns have had momentous impact on children’s lives worldwide and in particular on the right to education. Save the Children reports that more than 1.6 billion learners globally have faced school closures due to the pandemic, resulting in at least 10 million children not returning to school.[1] Among key international stakeholders, there appears to be a consensus… Read more »

COVID-19 and the Law: Framing Healthcare Worker Risks as Women’s Rights Violations

Today, public health is ‘delivered by women and led by men’, with a glaring absence of women and nurses at the decision making table.[1] Globally, though women only make up 25% of those in healthcare leadership they make up the majority of healthcare workers (70%) and nurses (90%).[2]  This exclusion skews the agendas on health so the… Read more »

Revisiting Emergency eLearning

On April 30, 2020, my article “COVID-19 and Emergency eLearning: Consequences of the Securitization of Higher Education for Post-Pandemic Pedagogy” was published in Contemporary Security Policy. In that piece, I argued that securitization theory could help understand the experience of teaching and learning online as an emergency measure, but also that the lessons of desecuritization… Read more »