COVID-19: A Potential Hazard to Democracy

Blue and black graffiti on a concrete wallThe International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) maintains a collection of documents that address the negative effects a pandemic like COVID-19 (coronavirus 2019) can have on democracies. IFES has identified seven elements that are at risk of exploitation due to the global crisis:

  • Chaotic elections and a decline in trust in electoral outcomes
  • Disruption in the rule of law
  • Erosion of information integrity
  • Looming barriers to political access
  • Explosion in technology reliance and exploitation
  • Abuses of public sector trust and resources
  • Declines in transparency and accountability

IFES is tracking the effects of the virus across the globe, and experts are concerned that, in our haste to eradicate the virus, measures being passed will have less than desirable long-term repercussions. The situation leaves democracy vulnerable to those in power with nefarious intentions, and poses a real threat to democratic institutions, particularly in regards to elections and human rights campaigns.

The following five articles are featured in their COVID-19 Briefing Series:


For more information, visit our Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) Special Collection or our In Focus: 2019 Novel Coronavirus collection. You can also find pandemic-related resources in our HSDL Featured Topics on Pandemics and Epidemics. Please note that an HSDL login is required to view some of these resources.

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