As the world enters month five of constant crisis mode, one reassuring bright spot on our end has been witnessing the nimbleness of Fletcher’s scholarly community in analyzing various facets of the pandemic. Amid so much ongoing uncertainty, it’s hard not to notice how an interdisciplinary international affairs faculty and research community is ideally positioned to respond to one of the most truly global emergencies of our lifetimes:
-Professor Katrina Burgess (recently announced as the new Director of the Henry J. Leir Institute for Human Security), whose work has long focused on Mexican migration and labor and the economic implications of cross-border remittances, has written about the impacts of COVID-19 on migration patterns at the US-Mexico border.
-Professor of International Humanitarian Studies Kimberley Theidon spoke recently with 2020 MALD graduate and new PhD student Nicholas Cicchinelli on connecting queer theory and gender analysis in international affairs, the lack of international protection for sexual and gender minorities facing violence, and how COVID-19 affects different communities worldwide.
-Fletcher’s Digital Planet team has been conducting research on racial disparities in digital access in the US, and the ways in which COVID-19 has disproportionately affected populations with high representation in “high-touch,” less-flexible occupations that are not conducive to remote work.
-Professors Eileen Babbit and John Cerone discussed the role of international humanitarian law and international human rights law in governmental responses to the pandemic, particularly as many countries and regions struggle to maintain lockdowns.
As Dean Kyte has repeatedly underscored, “this is what we train for.” It’s exciting to see so many contributions to the broader global response to the pandemic emerging from the Fletcher community!