Rebellion, Elections and the Pandemic in the Central African Republic: COVID-19 and its Impact on Deep-seated Patterns of Governance


  • The COVID-19 pandemic reaches the Central African Republic (CAR) just when citizens were passing milestones for ending the country's conflicts through a peace agreement and national elections. A new rebellion broke out in late 2020 that hindered medical access to some of the most impoverished areas. An interplay of rebellion, elections and containing the pandemic have become the critical triangle deciding whether CAR can overcome its deep-seated patterns of governance that are stifling political and economic progress.
    DFG, 2021-2022

    Head

    Dr. Tim Glawion

    Research Fellow



    Research Questions

    In how far has the COVID-19 pandemic deepened or ruptured CAR’s governance patterns?

    Contribution to International Research

    It lies in the nature of the deep-seated patterns of governance – outsourced politics, a plurality of violence and peripheral neglect – that research on the CAR even more than in other countries depends on gaining insights from beyond the capital. We will thus use the security arena concept to study changing current patterns of governance on the local level. The security arena is foremost a conceptual tool for comparison, keeping assumptions to a minimum, while drawing on only a few dimensions for meaningful comparison. The security arena is broadly reduced to two relational dimensions – actors and their interactions – around a spatial dimension and thereby grants common lines for comparison across contexts.

    Research Design and Methods

    To study changing patterns of governance during the pandemic on a national level we conduct telephone interviews with key stakeholders from government, the UN mission, NGOs, and civil society. On a local level we use our well-established networks to collect data remotely (and if the pandemic permits, in person) in two peripheral localities and the capital.

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    Erfolgsbedingungen für Staatsaufbau am Beispiel der Zentralafrikanischen Republik und Somaliland

    Institute for Peace Research and Security Policy Hamburg: 06/09/2021

    18/05/2021

    Suffering in Silence? Volume 2 – Central African Republic

    Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom Potsdam: 18/05/2021

    This event is the second in a ten-part series, which will shine a light on the "ten most under-reported humanitarian crises in 2020". In cooperation with CARE Germany e.V., the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom invites you to reflect on the current crisis in the Central African Republic, truly “the world’s forgotten crisis”.

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