GSL Publishes Chapter in COVID-19 textbook “Vulnerable” by the University of Ottawa

Title card for “Vulnerable” textbook

On July 14, GSL Director Steven Hoffman and GSL Associate Director Patrick Fafard published a chapter on the efficacy and legality of border closures in a new COVID-19 textbook, edited by Flood et al.

In the chapter, Hoffman and Fafard differentiate between targeted border closures which have in the past shown to be ineffective and illegal and total border closures which might be more effective but probably illegal as well.

The reason why over 170 countries enacted total border closures during COVID-19, according to the authors, is that governments want to protect themselves from blame by an opposition party, the media, or sub-national governments.

They are, therefore, best regarded as powerful symbolic acts that help governments show they are acting forcefully, even if these actions are not epidemiologically helpful and even if they breach international law.

The whole book is available open-source here.


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