Beyond the anti-racist reason: a postcolonial perspective on pandemic politics

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This article interrogates the politics of the COVID-19 pandemic from a postcolonial perspective. One alarming concern during the pandemic is the rise of racism against Asians all over the world. However, little explored behind media reports are the legacies, tensions and challenges left by imperial domination inherited from the past, especially within the postcolonial regimes in Asia, such as Hong Kong and China. Drawing upon postcolonialism as a critical lens, this article makes perceptible the intractable issues of health politics. Postcolonial challenges shown by COVID-19 include immigration, changing politico-juridical definitions of identity, the legacy left by the Soviet era which poses an obstacle to modernising China's healthcare system, and the boom of birth tourism welcomed by the marketised turn of health and tourism policy in Hong Kong in the post-SARS era. A postcolonial perspective invites health sociologists to scratch beneath the surface of political problems such as racism, and attend to the complex heterogeneity of health politics in the pandemic.




Kwok, H. (2020). Beyond the anti-racist reason: a postcolonial perspective on pandemic politics. Health Sociology Review, 122–130.

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