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COVID-19 and conflict

Jeffrey Bloem and Colette Salemi ()

World Development, 2021, vol. 140, issue C

Abstract: What does the threat of and the policy response to the coronavirus pandemic mean for inter-group conflict worldwide? We examine time series trends for different types of conflict and evaluate discernible changes taking place as global awareness of COVID-19 spread. At the country level, we examine changes in trends following policy responses, such as lockdowns, curfews, or ceasefires. We specifically examine violent conflict events (e.g., battles, remote violence and bombings, and violence against civilians) as well as civil demonstrations (e.g., protests and riots) using data from the Armed Conflict Location and Event Data (ACLED) project. Globally we see a relatively short-term decline in conflict, mostly driven by a sharp decrease in protest events, that has since recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Critical heterogeneity at the country level, however, persists. Finally, context-specific details challenge robust causal inference identifying the specific relationship between policy responses and conflict.

Keywords: COVID-19; Armed Conflict; Violence; Riots; Protests; Governance (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2021
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DOI: 10.1016/j.worlddev.2020.105294

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