The Covid-19 pandemic has been described as a universal securitization that has resulted in a global state of emergency. However, the research emerging on Covid-19 discourses in different countries shows that securitization was not the universal answer to the pandemic. These findings raise questions not only about the role of the local contexts, but also about our conceptualization of securitization, its thresholds and the relationship between securitization and the state of emergency. This blog post reviews the existing literature on securitizations of Covid-19 and summarizes the practical and theoretical challenges arising from the it.
Many of the measures taken to fight the pandemic are based upon differentiations between social groups. The visibility and relevance of these groups, the groups themselves and the ‘knowledge’ about them, especially the inclusions and exclusions associated with them, however, do not represent objective realities but are discursively constructed. Based on a review of discourse analytical literature on inclusions and exclusions in Covid-19 discourses, the blog post discusses how these discourses reconfigure the political. It makes a plea for integrating the media aesthetics of the audiovisual image in order to account for the multimodality of discursively reinforced inclusions and exclusions.