Toward global citizenship? People (de)bordering their lives during COVID-19 in Latin America and Europe

Isabella M Radhuber*, Amelia Fiske, Ilaria Galasso, Nicolai Gessl, Michael D Hill, Emma R Morales, Lorena E Olarte-Sánchez, Alejandro Pelfini, Gertrude Saxinger, Wanda Spahl

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Journal article (peer-reviewed)Journal article


The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted global interdependencies, accompanied by widespread calls for worldwide cooperation against a virus that knows no borders, but responses were led largely separately by national governments. In this tension between aspiration and reality, people began to grapple with how their own lives were affected by the global nature of the pandemic. In this article, based on 493 qualitative interviews conducted between 2020 and 2021, we explore how people in Argentina, Austria, Bolivia, Ecuador, Ireland, Italy and Mexico experienced, coped with and navigated the global nature of the pandemic. In dialogue with debates about the parameters of the 'global' in global health, we focus on what we call people's everyday (de)bordering practices to examine how they negotiated (dis)connections between 'us' and 'them' during the pandemic. Our interviewees' reactions moved from national containment to an increasing focus on people's unequal socio-spatial situatedness. Eventually, they began to (de)border their lives beyond national lines of division and to describe a new normal: a growing awareness of global connectedness and a desire for global citizenship. This newfound sense of global interrelatedness could signal support for and encourage transnational political action in times of crises.

Original languageEnglish
Article number2285880
Pages (from-to)2285880
JournalGlobal Public Health
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2023


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