Civil Unrest Risk on the Rise

Morgan O'Rourke


April 3, 2023

civil unrest is on the rise worldwide

Protests and civil unrest are increasingly impacting businesses around the world, according to a report from Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS). Since 2017, there have been more than 400 significant anti-government protests worldwide, with almost a quarter lasting more than three months. The costs can be substantial—between 2018 and 2023, six major civil unrest incidents resulted in more than $12 billion in economic and insured losses.

This increase in strikes, riots and civil commotion has been fueled by five key risk drivers: 1) the ongoing cost-of-living crisis; 2) distrust of governments and institutions; 3) increasing political polarization; 4) a rise in activism; and 5) climate and environmental concerns.

“Operational and security management within organizations should view the current climate as a catalyst for evaluating best practices and policies around preparing locations and employees for potential civil unrest and building resilience,” said Srdjan Todorovic, head of political violence and hostile environment solutions at AGCS.

Morgan O’Rourke is editor in chief of Risk Management and director of publications for the Risk & Insurance Management Society, Inc. (RIMS)