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COVID-19 Alumni Update

During these challenging times, the Wilson Center continues to deliver thought leadership and analysis, even though we are now working remotely. We have heard from many of our alumni, who are doing well and continuing their work, often teaching remotely; though others, sadly, are being kept from their research.

Our Wilson Center alumni continue to be a huge intellectual resource. Below please find a selection of their work on COVID-19.

Alumni should reach out to Sara Akbar, our new Alumni Relations Director at to update the Wilson Center with their work and accomplishments.

The views, opinions, positions expressed by the authors are theirs alone, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Wilson Center or its employees. The Wilson Center makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, correctness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed by the author.

Featured Alumni

  • "Bangladesh’s Garment Industry Unravelling," on the intersection of COVID-19 and the Bangladeshi garment industry. To read the full article, click here.

    For more of Sanchita Banerjee Saxena's work, click here.

  • In "Politics of the Coronavirus" (video), Professor Jeff Colgan breaks down the political and economic consequences of the coronavirus — for the United States, Europe, and the world. To watch, click here.

    For more content and analysis from Jeff Colgan, click here.

  • In "ICE Needs to Stand Down – For Everyone’s Good," Professor Wayne Cornelius explains the ways in which business-as-usual in immigration enforcement during a pandemic endangers the health and safety not only of undocumented immigrants (and their U.S. citizen family members) but of every American who depends upon the immigrant workforce for vital services and food security—home health care aides, farmworkers, grocery store workers, carry-out restaurant workers, and many more. To read the article, click here

  • "Coronavirus is Teaching Americans Whats It's Like to Live in Exile." Many people are feeling vulnerable and alone, writes Ariel Dorfman in The Washington Post. Will it make them more empathetic? To read the article, click here.

  • In "Rationing and Disability in a State of Crisis," Deborah Hellman explores the difficult moral and legal choices about how to ration scarce resources, and, most especially, ventilators, that result when COVID-19 cases overwhelm health care systems. Many states have protocols that address this question. These protocols adopt a fully utilitarian approach, aiming simply to save as many lives as possible. To do so, they prioritize patients who are most likely to benefit from care and set standard benchmarks for how quickly a patient must show improvement to continue ventilation. These protocols and related policies of private health care systems are likely to disadvantage people with disabilities, as a disproportionate number of disabled people have health conditions that will make them less likely to survive or will require them to have more time to show improvement. To read the journal article, click here.

    For more content and analysis from Deborah Hellerman, click here.

  • "Japan’s Inadequacies in Fighting the Coronavirus." Japan, a country prone to earthquakes, tsunami and typhoons, is also known for its capacity to use advanced measures to counter disasters effectively. But the present coronavirus epidemic has undoubtedly created one of the most serious challenges to the Japanese government under Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. To read the article, click here.

    For more content and analysis from K.V. Kesavan, click here.

  • "Don't Waste a Crisis." Crises bring to light strengths that were taken for granted, and weaknesses that were ignored. In an urban world, everything is connected – transport, preventive health and hospitals, housing development, water and power, air quality, education. The essential tasks are to renew the stock of public goods, restructure urban regions, and reduce future economic and environmental costs. This agenda, which embraces health and climate change, must be rolled out knowing that we cannot anticipate the frequency nor the severity of future cross-border risks. To read and download the study, click here.

  • As a roving correspondent for the Sunday Times of London, Christina Lamb's articles highlight, among other topics, the forgotten victims of the coronavirus.

    To read her article, "The Coronavirus is Consuming Us, But Others are Suffering More,"click here.

    To read "Coronavirus Lockdown: 'If You Have a Garden, You're OK. In My Flat It's Hell',"click here.

    To read "David Nott Interview: Fighting the Coronavirus is Worse Than Operating in Syria,"click here.

    For more content from Christina Lamb, click here.

  • In "COVID-19: The Era of Perpetual Emergency and the Emerging New Normal," Ali Riaz explores the questions: What has COVID-19 revealed? Is a new world order emerging? To read the article, click here.

    In "South Asia's Economic Outlook in the Era of COVID-19," Ali Riaz an other experts from the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center analyze the current efforts of these governments and the potential economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on South Asia. To read the piece, click here.

    For more content and analysis from Ali Riaz, click here.

  • Pandemic and lockdown: a territorial approach to COVID-19 in China, Italy and the United States,” Three months into the Covid-19 crisis, lockdown has become a global response to the pandemic. Why have so many countries resorted to lockdown? How is it being implemented in different places? Why have some places had more success with lockdowns and others not? What does the effectiveness of lockdowns tell us about the local institutions entrusted with enforcing them? This paper compares how lockdown orders have been implemented in China, Italy, and the U.S. The analysis points to two major factors that have shaped the enforcement: tensions between national and local governments, and the strength of local territorial institutions.  To read the full piece, click here.

    “The Quarantine of a Megacity: China’s Struggle Over the Coronavirus Epidemic,” and “‘The People’s War’ on Coronavirus in China” detail how COVID-19 unfolded in China and the government’s response. To read the full pieces, click here and here.

    For more of Xuefei Ren’s work, click here.

  • "COVID-19: Black Skins, No Masks" is a policy brief on the disproportionate impact of COVID-19 on Black communities in the Boston area. To read the brief, click here.

    For more content and analysis from Quito Swan, click here.

  • In "Islamic Responses to COVID-19," Professor Alexander Thurston lays out how the Islamic world is handling the COVID-19 pandemic. To read the memo, click here.

    Alex Thurston joined by Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University in this edition of Wilson Center NOW. They discuss the COVID-19 pandemic’s effect on the Muslim world during the holy month of Ramadan. Watch the video here.

    For more insight and analysis from Alexander Thurston, click here.

  • “First coronavirus deaths reported in indigenous communities in the Amazon”, “COVID-19 has fertile terrain to spread rapidly among the populations that live in Amazonia,” says president of prominent Brazilian rights group. To read the full piece click here.

    For more of Scott Wallace’s work, click here.

  • “The Coronavirus Crisis Could Reshape U.S. Policy in the Middle East,” the United States will need to evolve its strategy for the region post pandemic, emphasizing diplomacy and development.  To read the full piece click here.

    “Can COVID-19 open the door to peace-building in Syria?”, to read the full op-ed click here.

    “Coronavirus prevention extremely difficult in refugee, IDP camps in Middle East”, as the world grapples with the dangerous and evolving coronavirus pandemic, the impact on the most vulnerable populations cannot be overestimated. To read the full article click here.

    For more of Mona Yacoubian’s work, click here.