Video On Demand

Online Event: Will Covid-19 Mark the End of Mass Protests?

May 7, 2020 • 2:00 – 2:45 pm EDT

A Global Look from 2009 Through Today

Event Agenda

Please join us to discuss what was from the end of the last Global Financial Crisis through March of this year an escalating trend of global mass political protests in countries around the world. CSIS's Sam Brannen will present researching findings from a recently released report on the decade-long rise in protests that ended 2019 at a historic high, as well as provide an updated outlook for protest movements in the midst of Covid-19. Sam will be joined by The Atlantic's Yasmeen Serhan, who will discuss her recent global reporting on protest movements. Special consideration will be given to protest hotspots both prior to and now emerging in the midst of the pandemic, as well as the intersection of rivalries between democratic and authoritarian governments and protest movements in the digital and physical domains.

Event Speakers

Sam Brannen
Senior Fellow, International Security Program; Director, Risk and Foresight Group

Yasmeen Serhan 
Staff Writer, The Atlantic

Report | The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend

We are living in an age of global mass protests that are historically unprecedented in frequency, scope, and size. Our recent analysis finds that the mass political protests that have captured media attention over the past year, such as those in Hong Kong and Santiago, are in fact part of a decade-long trend line affecting every major populated region of the world, the frequency of which have increased by an annual average of 11.5 percent between 2009 and 2019. The size and frequency of recent protests eclipse historical examples of eras of mass protest, such as the late-1960s, late-1980s, and early-1990s. Viewed in this broader context, the events of the Arab Spring were not an isolated phenomenon but rather an especially acute manifestation of a broadly increasing global trend. Analysis of the root causes of these global protests suggests they will continue and could increase in 2020 and beyond.

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This event is made possible by general support to CSIS.

Samuel Brannen