In response to an unprecedented global health emergency, many states are rolling out measures from deploying armies and drones to control public space, to expanding digital control through facial recognition technology and tracker apps. What if these measures become permanent once the pandemic has subsided? What if health is repurposed as a national security issue? How do we ensure that COVID-19 doesn’t become the new 9/11 – a new milestone in authoritarian states of control?
This episode explores the political dimension of state responses, particularly the securitisation of COVID-19 through the expansion of powers for military, police, and security forces. Panellists explore how we can prevent these practices from being normalised and how to use our collective experiences of solidarity to construct a more just, democratic, and rights-centered world.
Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, UN Special Rapporteur on the Protection and Promotion of Human Rights while Countering Terrorism, University of Minnesota
Arun Kundnani, New York University, author of The Muslims are Coming! Islamophobia, extremism, and the domestic War on Terror and The End of Tolerance: racism in 21st century Britain