About this Research Topic
On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization declared a pandemic of the COVID-19 coronavirus disease that was first recognized in China in late 2019. Among the primary effects caused by the pandemic, there was the dissemination of health preventive measures such as physical distancing, travel restrictions, self-isolation, quarantines, and facility closures. This includes the global disruption of socio-economic systems including the postponement or cancellation of various public events (e.g., sporting, cultural, or religious), supply shortages and fears of the same, schools and universities closure, evacuation of foreign citizens, a rise of unemployment, changes in the international aid schemes, misinformation, and incidents of discrimination toward people affected by or suspected of having the COVID-19 disease.
The pandemic has brought to the fore unpreparedness in critical areas that require attention, amid prospects and challenges. Moreover, considerable reorganization efforts are required with implications for assets, resources, norms, and value systems. COVID-19 is challenging the concept of globalization and stimulating responses at the levels of local and regional socio-economic systems that lead to the mobilization of assets that have been unrecognized earlier on, such as various forms of economic capital, social capital, cultural capital, human capital, and creative capital. For example, through digital channels, local groups are forming to create schemes of support for physical and mental wellbeing. These emerging exchanges lead to various social and technological innovations by building on skills and assets that are less important in the free-market economy, such as empathy, skills for crafts, making and fixing; locally grown microgreens; and micromanufacturing. Isolation and local living are also making it much harder to ignore the civic responsibilities towards communities, meant as individuals, vulnerable groups, and local businesses. Whilst the pandemic is limiting physical participation, this challenging time is uncovering alternative ways of mutual support, which may create long-term benefits for socio-economic systems, including environmental and biodiversity protection, reduction of the air pollution, and climate action.
The pandemic’s threat to public health will hopefully be overcome with implications for disruption for an extended period that we are unable to forecast at this stage. It is key to focus on studies recognizing the activities and interventions leading to the recovery of socio-economic systems after the pandemic. Reflecting and planning on how societies and economies will go back to “business as usual” requires new forms of communication and cooperation, imaginative design thinking, new styles of management, as well as new tools and forms of participation in various public policies. Many questions related to the care of the vulnerable, economic restart, and the risk of future pandemics, to mention but a few, are already occupying the academic, scientific, experts, and activist communities, who have started to imagine the “new normal.”
Through this Research Topic, we wish to collect interdisciplinary contributions addressing new thinking, challenges, changes, and transformations required for post-pandemic global, national, regional, and local realities. Specifically, but not exclusively, we welcome critical reflections, research agenda papers, meta-analytical studies as well as qualitative and quantitative works related to the following areas of the COVID-19 pandemic impacts:
• Public health and health sector innovations during the pandemic and for the post-pandemic period.
• Tensions between national and international health policies in response to global health challenges.
• Supply chains and the global economy: threats and opportunities (e.g., the agri-food sector).
• Redesign of the transport systems, including travel, trade, logistics, and freight distribution.
• Transformations of the labour markets and workforce rights.
• Planning, management, governance, and evaluation of governmental interventions including specific public policy areas (e.g., cultural policy, economic policy, education policy, agricultural and food policy, industrial policy, labour market policy, social policy, regional policy, technology policy, and urban policy).
• Role of experts in making law and public policies related to the COVID-19 pandemic (e.g., response and recovery plans, programs, strategies, and funds).
• Comparative public policy studies including differences across nations, a variety of policy ideas and policy instruments, and policy transfer and learning.
• Multi-level, cross-sectoral, and multi-sectoral cooperation of various stakeholders, including public, private, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and non-formal entities.
• Evaluation of socio-economic impacts of undertaken health preventive measures such as physical distancing.
• Contemporary examples of social disparities and inequalities unveiled by the COVID-19 pandemic.
• Regional and local bottom-up responses, their scalability, feedbacks from environmental change, degrowth, and community resilience.
• The digital connectedness and the development of information and communications technologies (ICTs) (e.g., artificial intelligence and robotic solutions).
• Trust and risk management and communication, social publicity strategies, and social media (dis)information.
• Design thinking, co-production, co-design, social innovation, and citizen science.
• New forms and models of education.
***Due to the exceptional nature of the COVID-19 situation, Frontiers is waiving all article publishing charges for COVID-19 related research works.***
Keywords: banking and capital markets, behavioral sciences, cities and urbanization, civil society, co-creation and co-production, coronavirus disease, COVID-19, degrowth, ecosystems, empowerment, environmental issues, ethics, financial and monetary systems, future of economic progress, future of health and healthcare, governance, human rights, humanitarian action, infrastructure, innovative economic systems, insurance and asset management, international security, international trade and investment, justice and law, local and regional development, manufacturing and production, migration, public finance and social protection, public health, public policy, resilience building, social problems, solidarity, supply chain and transport, sustainability, travel and tourism, workforce and employment
Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.