In our 2022 publication we reflect on the current state of political violence globally, and explore how some of these dynamics are likely to shape events in the coming year. Many of the issues driving conflict and unrest over the past year remain unresolved, and will prompt further instability and violence in the year ahead. We unpack these stories in this year’s Political Violence Special Edition.
The state of war: Armed conflicts in 2022
As conflicts ebb and flow, we are likely to see a number of shifts in how conflicts develop across the world: some will escalate, while others will diffuse or remain at a relative status quo. Here we evaluate the likely trajectories of the most prominent conflicts globally to assess the state of war in 2022.
The state of terrorism: A snapshot of Islamist extremism in 2021/22
The fortunes of Islamic terror groups, as well as the successes of those combating them, vary widely from region to region. While there has been a general downward trend in the death toll from Islamic terror attacks since 2014, in some parts of the world Islamic State and other groups have retained a notable presence, and have even managed to expand their areas of operation and influence.
State of unrest: These issues will drive protests in 2022
A range of issues has continued to prompt protests in 2021, despite (or in some cases because of) the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and related restrictions. Issues surrounding the pandemic, as well as environmental concerns and socio-economic discontent are likely to be the major drivers of unrest in the coming year.
A sad state of affairs: Political violence on the world stage
2021 marked the highest number of coups or coup attempts since 2013, perhaps signalling a broader retreat from democracy globally. Unconstitutional regime change is generally followed by a period of instability, as new governments settle in or are challenged by groups excluded from power. In 2022 we will be following closely several ‘litmus tests’ for democracy, where outcomes are likely to prompt severe disagreement, even if outright political violence remains off the cards.