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Political Conflicts in 2019: Persistent continuation and surprising dynamics

by Mayely Müller and Michael Hebeisen

First published by Friedensakademie Rheinland-Pfalz

Observing political conflicts and tracing their dynamics is a complex undertaking, which requires a multilayered approach and long-term engagement. The annually published Conflict Barometer is taking up this challenge. For 2019, 358 political conflicts were recorded. The following blog article presents these recent findings and discusses how the current COVID-19 pandemic could affect the global conflict landscape.

The annual Conflict Barometer, a report published by the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK), is dedicated to the documentation of political conflicts worldwide. This entails the in-depth analysis of violent and non-violent conflicts in all world regions. By observing the dynamics of escalation, de-escalation, and resolution of conflicts on an annual basis, the Heidelberg approach makes conflict dynamics traceable and comparable in the long term. The continuous collection of data serves as a basis for the work and research of policymakers, NGOs, IOs, and scholars. HIIK focuses on the observation of conflicts rather than on root cause analyses. Moreover, it provides a global overview of certain dynamics, such as worldwide demonstrations in 2019.

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Americas 

The fight over Río de Janeiro’s favelas

In the 1970s, major cities in Brazil like São Paulo or Río de Janeiro witnessed a massive influx of people from the countryside. At the time, more and more Brazilians were looking for an affordable place to live near the cities, as the urban centers offered a new range of income opportunities. Slowly, these newcomers occupied the cities’ wastelands, thereby founding the now well-known favelas. According to the 2010 Census, 11.25 million people live in the shanty towns spread all around the country, most of them located in the states of…

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