Well, should we expect more civil unrest in the months to come? Unfortunately, the answer appears to be yes.
According to a study conducted by Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (SGCS), one of the world’s largest financial services providers based in Munich, Germany, things are looking unsettling – to say the least – in the months and years to come.
According to the report, strikes, riots, and violent protests are likely to increase in many parts of the world. This unrest is expected to pose risks to companies “because, in addition to material damage to buildings or assets, business operations can be disrupted, resulting in loss of income.”
The report concludes that “civil unrest increasingly represents a more critical exposure for many companies than terrorism.” Incidents of civil unrest, adds Srdjan Todorovic, head of crisis management for AGCS in the U.K., “are unlikely to abate anytime soon, given the aftershocks of COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, and the ideological shifts that continue to divide societies around the world.
Businesses need to be alert to any suspicious indicators and designate clear pathways for de-escalation and response, which anticipate and avert the potential for personnel to be injured and damage to business and private property.”
The United Nations agrees with the study’s conclusion. They warn that there is an increasing risk of destabilization in many parts of the world due to disrupted supply chains, spiking prices for food, fuel, and fertilizer, as well as many repercussions because of the Ukraine War.
For instance, most of Europe is unsure if they will get adequate natural gas and oil from Russia. Further, what many of us are just now learning, Ukraine produces about 30 percent of the world’s wheat supply. The Soviets are interrupting that supply. This is likely to not only increase food prices around the globe but cause famine in poorer areas of the world.
“All of this is planting the seeds for political instability and unrest around the globe,” said U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in March.
As to where all of this civil unrest will be occurring, the Civil Unrest Index says at least seventy-five countries will see an uptick of unrest starting as early as August 2022. These include the following:
Surprisingly, the list also includes countries that have historically been known for their economic and collective stability. These include:
- The U.K.
- New Zealand
Civil Unrest and the United States
As you already know, civil unrest has increased in the United States, especially since the pandemic. In the second quarter of 2020, the U.S. was listed 91st on the Civil Unrest Index. This means there were ninety countries experiencing more civil unrest than the U.S. By the fourth quarter of 2020, that number had fallen to thirty-four. Now, only thirty-three countries experience more civil unrest than the U.S.
As to where most of this civil unrest is occurring in America, the index listed the corridor between Washington, DC, up to Boston, Detroit, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
So, it appears much of the world, including the United States, may have some tumultuous years ahead of us. More specifically, in America, police authorities are getting increasingly concerned about the upcoming election in 2022.
But we can’t do much about the global turmoil or what might be brewing in our own country. What we can do is protect ourselves, our companies, and the people working for our companies.
A competently conducted risk assessment brings in highly skilled professionals to analyze a facility from top to bottom, looking for weak spots and potential hazards. Next, it suggests ways to eliminate, reduce, and control risk. It’s a proactive approach to facility and personnel security that many organizations may need more now than ever before.
Johnathan Tal is Chief Executive Officer of TAL Global Corporation, an international investigative and risk-consulting firm. He served as a military field intelligence officer for the Israeli armed forces during the 1970s. Tal has also served as an antiterrorism security specialist. He is a licensed investigator, Certified Private Investigator (CPI), and Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), and he holds a Bachelor of Science degree. He can be reached through his company website at www.talglobal.com.