The aim of this paper is to encourage critical geographers and social scientists to take a stronger, more explicit, and more intellectually rigorous anti-authoritarian stance against the problematic public response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To do so effectively, what is urgently needed is to contribute to the emerging body of academic research documenting the devastating political economy of lockdowns and other non-pharmaceutical interventions, and arguing for a more proportionate pandemic response. This necessitates a genuinely critical approach that (a) avoids the tunnel vision of minimizing only one specific form of harm (COVID-19 deaths and illnesses) and (b) cultivates instead a more encompassing sense of solidarity, grounded in the careful documenting of the multiple, long-term, harms caused by that tunnel vision.
Simandan, D., Rinner, C., and Capurri, V. 2021. Confronting the rise of authoritarianism during the COVID-19 pandemic should be a priority for critical geographers and social scientists. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies. Read the full paper here.