André Bank / Yannick Deepen / Julia Grauvogel / Sabine Kurtenbach

COVID-19 and Violent Actors in the Global South: An Inter- and Cross-Regional Comparison

GIGA Working Papers | 2022


  • Abstract

    This Working Paper examines the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on state and non-state violent actors in the Global South. We provide an ACLED-based interregional map-ping of trends in Latin America and the Caribbean, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa. Cross-regional case comparisons shed further light on the similarities and differences of countries characterised by long-term armed conflict (Colombia, Iraq, Nigeria) or having transitioned from authoritarianism but facing inequality and political exclusion (Chile, Tunisia, South Africa). We identify a temporal variation: Initially, state armed actors’ new responsibilities to implement COVID-19–related control measures led to an increase in violence against civilians, but over time there was a decrease. We also find that COVID-19 had an early demobilising effect vis-à-vis protest and mob violence, a consequence of lockdowns and mobility restrictions. Yet, protest has quickly returned to pre-pandemic levels in many countries, underlining continued – sometimes aggravated –grievances. Moreover, different violent actors’ responses to the pandemic were decisively shaped by their respective conflict histories.

    Series

    GIGA Working Papers

    Series Number

    329

    Number of Pages

    55

    Publisher

    German Institute for Global and Area Studies (GIGA)

    Location

    Hamburg

    GIGA Focus Global | 3/2022

    COVID-19 and Violent Actors in the Global South: A Complex Relationship

    A cross-regional comparative analysis of the effects of COVID-19 on violence shows high levels of variation between contexts and in terms of specific armed actors. While Latin America along with the Middle East and North Africa have experienced an overall reduction, violence in sub-Saharan Africa has increased.

    GIGA Focus Latin America | 3/2022

    Pandemic, Protest, and Petro Presidente: Rescuing Colombia’s Peace

    COVID-19 paved the way for a left-wing government winning in Colombia’s recent elections. The pandemic has deepened structural inequalities, promoting an unprecedented wave of protest against the right-wing incumbent. Answering with high levels of violence only further increased the call for change.

    Research Project | 01/05/2019 - 30/04/2022

    Context Matters – Country-Specific Politico-Economic Analyses, Conflict and Crisis Potentials, as well as Global and Regional Trends

    The realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals needs to be based on comprehensive knowledge of the specific contexts at various levels from the global to the local level. The three components of Context Matters provide annual information on actors and governance structures as well as on conflict potentials in the partner countries of German development cooperation. Important regional and global trends (trend analysis) for development cooperation are analysed with a comparative area perspective complementing these country analyses.
    BMZ, 2019-2022

    Notification

    Sign up to receive email notifications about GIGA activities

    Social Media

    Follow us