Side Event

Covid, Emergencies and Transitions: The Impact of Emergency Law Responses to Covid-19 in Fragile Transitions to Peace and Democracy

6 May 2021
15.30-16.30 CEST

The 2021 Stockholm Forum on Peace and Development will be held on the theme ‘Promoting Peace in the Age of Compound Risk.

Register here.

The coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic has reinforced or compounded conflict, human rights violations, disinformation efforts, gender inequality and societal fractures. The emerging post-pandemic world risks being more violent and less democratic. Geopolitical tensions and unilateral action have increased, while the need for collective action has become clearer than ever. The 2021 Stockholm Forum will explore novel approaches and solutions to promoting peace in the age of compound political, social, economic and environmental risks reinforced by Covid-19. 

Emergency law responses to Covid-19 have affected peace and transition processes in predictable and unpredictable ways. 

International IDEA, together with the Political Settlements Research Programme and the Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (University of Edinburgh), will host a session that will look at the consequences for levels of violent conflict and democratic consolidation. The discussion will be around the results of practice-based research with opportunities for the audience to participate with questions and interactive tools. The panel will address the following questions:

How have emergency law responses been adopted in fragile and conflict-affected settings? What has been the impact of the pandemic and emergency powers, if adopted, on:

• Conflict dynamics

• Scheduling and conducting of elections

• Functioning of transitional state institutions

• Inter-group dynamics in situations of deep division, notably between the centre and the periphery. What factors may have been key in defining the type of impact that different countries and/or substate entities have suffered as a consequence of the pandemic and the resulting emergency law response? What are the implications for policy makers and peacebuilders?

Moderator: Prof. Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago


  • Dr. Sean Molloy, Northumbria Law School
  • Prof. Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, United Nations Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and Counter-Terrorism
  • Dr. Adem Abebe, International IDEA
  • Dr. Sonia Vohito, Human Rights Activist 
Partner Organizations/collaborators: 
Political Settlements Research Programme and Edinburgh Centre for Constitutional Law (University of Edinburgh)