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CISSM Global Forum | Pandemics and Borders: The Politics of Cross-Border Travel and Trade Measures During COVID-19

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The Pandemics and Borders project examines cross-border health measures, notably travel and trade restrictions, during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our project seeks to document such measures and understand why and how they are used by governments. For this purpose, the project team is collecting and analysing data on cross-border health measures, conducting systematic reviews of available evidence of their effectiveness, and carrying out case studies on Canada, Hong Kong and the United States. Our findings will support evidence-informed decisions on the use of cross-border health measures during pandemics.  These findings, more broadly, will contribute critical knowledge that strengthens WHO's International Health Regulations and international coordination generally during global outbreak response efforts.

Catherine Worsnop is a co-PI on the project with Kelley Lee (Simon Fraser University) and Karen Grépin (University of Hong Kong). Summer Marion (SPP/CISSM) is a Research Associate on the project. The project is funded through a rapid research funding competition under the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR), with funding provided by the New Frontiers in Research Fund (NFRF) and administered by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


Catherine Worsnop is an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and a research fellow at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM). Her research sits at the intersection of international relations and global health security with a focus on international cooperation during global health emergencies. Current projects examine state compliance with the World Health Organization’s International Health Regulations, the adoption of cross-border health measures during COVID-19 and other outbreaks, the design and dynamics of COVAX, the role of non-state armed groups in public health, and the connections between outbreaks and human trafficking. Her work on these topics has been published or is forthcoming in a range of peer reviewed journals including The Review of International OrganizationsThe Lancet, International Studies PerspectivesInternational Studies ReviewBMJ Global HealthHealth Security, and Global Health Governance, as well as other outlets like The Washington Post’s Monkey Cage and Political Violence at a Glance. Worsnop has served on expert committees for WHO and previously worked with the Institute of Medicine (now the National Academy of Medicine) of the National Academies.


Summer Marion is a research fellow at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and research associate at the Center for International and Security Studies at Maryland (CISSM).  She is also a doctoral candidate in political science at Northeastern University. Marion's research interests are in global governance, international organizations, and health security, with a focus on the role of philanthropy. Her dissertation project examines how private foundations influence global health policy outcomes before, during, and after outbreaks. Other ongoing research include projects examining international cooperation during outbreaks and adoption of cross-border measures, global health diplomacy and the politics of COVAX, trust and social resilience to crises, and environmental governance. Her research and commentary on these topics has appeared or is forthcoming in outlets including International Studies ReviewBMJ Global HealthGlobal Health GovernanceThe Washington Post, and CNN International. She worked previously with the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and Harvard University. Beyond her research, she has taught extensively on topics related to international relations, public policy, and research methods. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations and Economics from the College of William & Mary and a Master of Arts in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University. 

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