COVID-19’s Effects on Democracy and Governance Globally: Confronting the "Virus of Hate"

In the spring of 2021, ICRS launched a new research and dialogue initiative to explore the sweeping societal, economic, and political changes wrought by COVID-19 and opportunities to reverse the tide of deteriorating global conditions of democracy and human rights, or “autocratization.” The initiative took the form of a 25-member Expert Working Group that deliberated through the year to harness existing knowledge and to explore alternatives and recommendations for ways to reimagine democracy’s meaning, institutions, and processes with a view toward deriving recommendations for enhancing international cooperation.

The ICRS Expert Working Group on reimagining democracy is comprised of leading experts from Africa, Europe, Latin America, the U.S., and the Middle East, and together undertook an analysis of contemporary challenges and crises in democracy exacerbated by the pandemic and responses to control it. The group orchestrated and oversaw background research by ICRS faculty and scholars and developed through dialogue four integrated final reports with findings and policy-relevant recommendations for improving international cooperation.

ICRS thanks the DT Institute for their generous support of this initiative.

Read the Reports:

global report cover

COVID-19's Effects on Democracy and Governance Globally

africa report

COVID-19, Democracy, and Governance in Africa

latin america report

Democracy and Governance in Latin America and the Caribbean After COVID-19

Middle East Report

The Impact of COVID-19 on Governance in the MENA States

Expert Working Group Members

Africa Subgroup

  • Dr. Abigail Kabandula—Africa Center Director, University of Denver
  • Dr. Timothy Adivilah Balag’kutu—Center for Citizen Engagement in Governance
  • Dr. Boniface Dulani—University of Malawi
  • Dr. Kathleen Klaus—Uppsala University
  • Dr. Jeremy Seekings—University of Cape Town
  • Dr. Timothy Shaw—University of Massachusetts, Boston

Latin America Subgroup

  • Dr. Oliver Kaplan—Latin America Center Director, University of Denver
  • Dr. Michael Albertus—University of Chicago
  • Dr. Diana Senior-Angulo—University of Costa Rica
  • Dr. Gustavo Flores-Macias—Cornell University
  • Dr. Rafael Ioris—University of Denver
  • Dr. Melissa Martinez—University of Mary Washington
  • Dr. Amy Erica Smith—Iowa State University

Middle East Subgroup

  • Dr. Nader Hashemi—Center for Middle East Studies Director, University of Denver
  • Dr. Andrea Stanton—Center for Middle East Studies Interim Director, University of Denver
  • Dr. Younes Abouyoub—United Nations
  • Intissar Fakir—Middle East Institute
  • Dr. Dana El Kurd—University of Richmond
  • Rami Khouri—Harvard University

Global Specialists Subgroup

  • Dr. Timothy D. Sisk—ICRS Director, University of Denver
  • Dr. Caroline Hartzell—Gettysburg College
  • Dr. Anna Jarstad—Uppsala University
  • Dr. Massimo Tommasoli—International IDEA
  • Dr. Necla Tschirgi—University of San Diego


ICRS is grateful to Kelci Burckhardt for her facilitation of this initiative.