COVID Capitalism: The Contested Logistics of Migrant Labour Supply Chains in the Double Crisis

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The introduction to the special issue (SI) lays out the agenda and key concepts of the SI ‘COVID Capitalism: The Contested Logistics of Migrant Labour Supply Chains in the Double Crisis’. The contributions to the SI focus on the reconfiguration of the means and methods of the exploitation of migrant labour during the COVID-19 pandemic and the related reorganisation of contemporary border and migration regimes. They all focus, more or less explicitly, on the adaptation and reorganisation of migrant labour supply chains which were disrupted through the ‘double crisis’ of public health and existing border and mobility regimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. In this way, the SI seeks to contribute to a more nuanced understanding of COVID-capitalism, understood as a form of disaster capitalism, in which fractions of capital try to turn the multiple crises implicated by the pandemic into a source of profit. If and how they succeed with these endeavours is, however, not guaranteed from the outset but an empirical question. The study of migrant labour supply chains does thus not only help to develop a more nuanced understanding of disaster capitalism but also contributes to debates on the logistification of migration management.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)175-187
Number of pages13
Publication statusPublished - 05.2024

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank the organisers of the SASE conference 2021, which took place in Amsterdam and online on the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in July 2021. First drafts of all contributions to this special issue were presented in context of the mini-conference ‘Migration, Bordering and Capitalist Restructuring during the Pandemic’ which was organised by the guest-editors within the framework of the SASE conference. They would also like to thank funding of the MERCATOR foundation which allowed Stephan Scheel to repurpose a travel grant to reimburse mini-conference participants from the Americas the conference fees.

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.

    Research areas

  • borders, capitalism, COVID-19 pandemic, labour-power, migration
  • Politics