COVID-19 and Conflict: Major Risks and Policy Responses

Peace Econ Peace Sci Public Policy. 2020 Aug 24;26(3):20200043. doi: 10.1515/peps-2020-0043. eCollection 2020 Sep 1.


The COVID-19 pandemic entails a medium- and long-run risk of heightened political conflict. In this short essay we distinguish four major consequences of COVID-19 that may fuel social tensions and political violence, namely i) spiking poverty, ii) education under stress, iii) potential for repression, and iv) reduced inter-dependence. After discussing them in turn, we will formulate policy recommendations on how to attenuate these risks.

Keywords: COVID-19; civil war; conflict; democracy; development; education; fighting; poverty; trade.