Pandemic disobedience, Mapping Covid19 Non-Conformities

While some countries are now considering covid-19 an endemic, international and national responses to the pandemic are still characterized by inconsistencies, fuelling social conflicts and civil disobedience. From travel bans on an international level, national lockdowns, accessibility and availability of public places, vaccines and testing, to the spread of disinformation, social media censorship, and discussions on corporate responsibility have led to new types of social division and exclusion in society. These inconsistencies and the different narratives on Covid-19 have been met with diverse responses from individuals, governments, justice systems and the private sector.

While some countries cite the ending of the pandemic, others have tightened regulation and introduced punitive measures for non-compliance with transient measures. These in turn have created pockets of individuals and larger collectives to engage in “Covid non-conformities”. Recent studies refer to such incentives as Covid fraud, cultures of resistance, pandemic disobedience, or corruption of medical professionals, while others identify online criminal networks, that are assisting counterfeiting national Covid regulations and health care markets. However, due to the growing uncertainties and controversial decision-making practices, deviant responses are increasing in all corners of societies.

In this special issue such non-conformities are defined from a greater scope as actions, images, initiatives, vernacular, or behaviour, that defy, challenge or draw into question Covid-19 measures imposed on the local or the international level and which are met with dissenting response. Covid-non conformities go beyond solely (il)legal conduct, but also include professional and moral deviance.

In this special issue we invite contributions that examine the dynamics of deviance and the widening of what constitutes/Covid non-conformity/, to be published in the Autumn of 2022. We welcome innovative and original research representing interdisciplinary objectives, including cultural, critical theoretical approaches which/identify these fault lines/in society,/as well as the responses to them/. Contributions presenting qualitative or empirical inquiries seeking to describe and explore Covid non-conformities are highly encouraged, as well as multidisciplinary research from criminology, criminal justice, media and communication studies, anthropology, sociology and other humanities disciplines.

Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Illicit markets, forgery, buying, selling of vaccine passes, PCR
    test results, medical status documentation, medicines and treatments
  • Covid-19 misinformation, disinformation, conspiracy theories,
    propagation, effects, sources, responses, censorship
  • Scientific scepticism, professional (mis)conduct, scientific and
    professional debate, scientific authority and autonomy
  • Bioethics, medical ethics, autonomy and authority in medicine
  • Access to healthcare, health equity
  • Stigma, division, social exclusion, victimization, racism, inequality
  • Travel restrictions, national and international populations, travel
    and landing bans, designation of high risk countries
  • Health status and antisocial and prosocial behaviour
  • Corporate policing, corporate interests, transparency, access to
    health and equity
  • Covid-19 surveillance, law enforcement, document vérification,
    penalties, fines, quarantaines
  • Curtailment of human rights and freedoms
  • Covid-19 criminalization


Deadline for Initial Proposals: July 10, 2022

Prospective authors should submit a short article proposal as a Word document or PDF file (tov.nagy /at/ The proposal should describe:

  • The name and contact information of the author(s), along with a
    brief bio.
  • The title of the proposed contribution and the topic the author(s)
    believe(s) that the contribution best fits under.
  • An abstract (max 500 words) and 4-7 keywords

Potential authors are encouraged to contact the editor to discuss ideas for theme and format. There is no article processing charge. Authors are encouraged to use images but will be required to request permission from copyright-holders when needed.

  • Notification of Acceptance: 20th of July, 2022
  • Deadline First Drafts: 10th of December, 2022
  • Peer review completed: 25th of January, 2023
  • Final Drafts Due: 31th of February, 2023


If prospective authors have more questions, please contact one of the editors below.

Veronika Nagy, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology in Utrecht ((V.Nagy /at/

Anna Laskai Ph.D. Assistant Professor at the Willem Pompe Institute for Criminal Law and Criminology in Utrecht ((a.e.laskai /at/