Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 8, 2020

The other virus: Covid-19 and violence against civilians

  • Charles H. Anderton EMAIL logo


The article analyzes how Covid-19 might affect the risk of violence against civilians (VAC) in two ways. First, I glean from Armed Conflict Location and Event Data the quantity and types of Covid-related VAC attacks. Second, I present possible economic channels by which Covid could affect mass atrocity risk. I apply the channels to identify possible Covid-related economic risks for VAC in Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Corresponding author: Charles H. Anderton , Professor, Department of Economics and Accounding, and Distinguished Professor of Ethics and Society, College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA, USA, E-mail:


I am grateful to Jurgen Brauer, two anonymous reviewers, and the editor for helpful comments. The usual disclaimer applies.


ACLED. 2019. Armed Conflict Location & Event Data Project (ACLED) Codebook. (accessed June 10, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Anderton, C. H., and J. Brauer. 2020. “Mass Atrocities and their Prevention.” Journal of Economic Literature. in Google Scholar

Anderton, C. H., and E. V. Ryan. 2016. “Habituation to Atrocity: Low-Level Violence against Civilians as a Predictor of High-Level Attacks.” Journal of Genocide Research 16 (4): 539–62. in Google Scholar

Armand, A., P. Atwell, and J. F. Gomes. 2020. “The Reach of Radio: Ending Civil Conflict Through Rebel Demobilization.” American Economic Review 110 (5): 1395–1429. in Google Scholar

Asian Metal. 2020. Ta. Available: (accessed June 10, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Bloomberg. 2020. Tin. (accessed June 9, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Cuvelier, J., S. van Bockstael, K. Vlassenroot, and C. Iguma. 2014. Analyzing the Impact of the Dodd–Frank Act on Congolese Livelihoods. New York: Social Science Research Council.Search in Google Scholar

Early Warning Project. 2020. Early Warning Project. (accessed June 11, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 2020a. Global Price of Cotton. (accessed June 10, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. 2020b. Global Price of Groundnuts. (accessed June 10, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Gangopadhyay, P. 2016. “Economic Foundations of Religious Killings and Genocide with Special Reference to Pakistan, 1978–2012.” In Economic Aspects of Genocides, Other Mass Atrocities, and their Prevention, edited by C. H. Anderton and J. Brauer, 510–35. New York: Oxford University Press.10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199378296.003.0022Search in Google Scholar

Krauser, M. 2020. “In the Eye of the Storm: Rebel Taxation of Artisanal Mines and Strategies of Violence.” Journal of Conflict Resolution. in Google Scholar

Olson, M. 1993. “Dictatorship, Democracy, and Development.” The American Political Science Review 87 (3): 567–76. in Google Scholar

Powder Metallurgy Review. 2020. Manufacturing Slowdown and Coronavirus Impact Metal Prices. (accessed June 9, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Purdy, C. 2020. “Amid Food System Instability, the Humble Peanut is a Winner.” Quartz, April 27, 2020. (accessed June 10, 2020).Search in Google Scholar

Raleigh, C., A. Linke, H. Hegre, and J. Karlsen. 2010. “Introducing ACLED-Armed Conflict Location and Event Data.” Journal of Peace Research 47 (5): 651–60. in Google Scholar

Verpoorten, Marijke. 2012. “Leave None to Claim the Land: A Malthusian Catastrophe in Rwanda?” Journal of Peace Research 49 (4): 547–63. in Google Scholar

Received: 2020-07-08
Accepted: 2020-07-14
Published Online: 2020-08-08

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Downloaded on 7.12.2023 from
Scroll to top button