Video – The Coronavirus upheaval: Bauman, Beck and Rethinking the Politics of Global Pandemics

In this episode of the the Monnet Conversations, Ingrid Biese, Sven Kesselring and Thesis Eleven founder Peter Beilharz join Anthony Elliott to discuss the contributions of Zygmunt Bauman and Ulrich Beck in the context of the global pandemic.

The episode is presented by the UniSA Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence and UniSA Justice & Society

Responses to the coronavirus – from politicians to policymakers to the public – are often presented as a binary choice between public health versus the economy.  This episode of Monnet Conversations turns to modern European social thought to address new ways of responding to COVID-19 other than the dualism of lives saved and the economic costs of saving those lives.

The episode considers these fundamental questions by looking at the contributions of the late Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman, and the late German social theorist Ulrich Beck. Bauman’s reflections on wasted lives, disposability, moral uncertainty and liquidization are framed in relation to the global pandemic.  Beck’s reflections on risk, reflexivity and the fortunes of global cosmopolitanism are situated in terms of the consequences of the pandemic’s profound transformation of social life.

Joining Anthony Elliott for this episode of Monnet Conversations are Peter Beilharz, Professor of Critical Theory, Sichuan University, PRC and Emeritus Professor of Sociology at La Trobe University, Australia; Sven Kesselring, Professor of Automotive Management at Nürtingen-Geislingen University, Germany; and Ingrid Biese, Research Associate at the Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki, Finland”.

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