The present issue of ASEAS features a focus on the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on mobility and migration in and between Southeast Asian countries, assessing past, current, and future trends as well as its cultural, social, economic, ecological, and political implications. As many other regions in the world, Southeast Asian countries have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Although most countries managed to cope relatively well with the first wave in 2020, subsequent waves saw rising death tolls and immense pressures on the region’s health and welfare systems. At the same time, travel restrictions and local as well as national lockdowns affected migrant populations disproportionally as hundreds of thousands got stuck in either their countries of origin or destination countries with little or no alternative means of making a living. This special issue presents six empirically grounded case studies (four current research and two research workshop articles) that address the COVID-19-migration/mobility nexus in Myanmar, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, and Australia. Articles outside this special issue focus address topics of hazard related vulnerability and coping strategies in the Philippines as well as the media consumption/travel motivation nexus in the Philippines regarding Thailand.
Claudia Dolezal, 2023 (Thailand, Bangkok, Suvarnabhumi Airport)