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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter August 24, 2020

COVID-19 and Conflict: Major Risks and Policy Responses

  • Dominic Rohner ORCID logo EMAIL logo


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.

Corresponding author: Dominic Rohner, Faculty of Business and Economics (HEC Lausanne), University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland; and CEPR, London, UK, E-mail:

Award Identifier / Grant number: 677595


The author gratefully acknowledges financial support from the ERC Starting Grant POLICIES FOR PEACE-677595.


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Supplementary Material

The online version of this article offers supplementary material (

Received: 2020-07-24
Accepted: 2020-08-01
Published Online: 2020-08-24

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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