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By March 2020, COVID-19 had affected nearly every community on earth, either with infections or with mobility restrictions. Significant peer reviewed research effort has gone into understanding the virus and its spread, mainly from an epidemiological and medical perspective.

Political ecologists have ...

By March 2020, COVID-19 had affected nearly every community on earth, either with infections or with mobility restrictions. Significant peer reviewed research effort has gone into understanding the virus and its spread, mainly from an epidemiological and medical perspective.

Political ecologists have been somewhat critical of such analyses because of their failure to understand the sociality of COVID-19 and its emergence. They emphasise the need to look for how the virus has acted upon inclusions and exclusions and current cleavages in society despite the fact that it can potentially attack anyone anywhere. Commentaries have therefore drawn attention to the more-than-human assemblages that allowed COVID-19 to infect humans; global food chains and capitalism; and social inequalities that underpin uneven exposure and access to health care.

In this Research Topic we seek papers that engage with political ecologies of COVID-19. We welcome articles that are based on empirical research in specific contexts, attempting to understand the impacts of the viral outbreak, as well as articles which lay out research agendas for political ecologies of COVID-19. What questions need to be asked? What does it mean to take a socionatural and political ecological approach? What can we learn from the state(s) response in different places? How can such analyses add to the global conversation about the pandemic?

Keywords: socionature, COVID-19, social inequalities, political ecology, more-than-human


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