With the 31st edition of the Conflict Barometer, the HIIK continues its annual series of reports covering political conflicts worldwide. The global political conflict panorama in 2022 was marked by an increase in the number of highly violent conflicts. Both the number of wars and of limited wars increased from 20 to 21 respectively. As opposed to last year, one war was observed in Europe [→ Russia – Ukraine] and another war in the Americas [→ Haiti (inter-gang rivalry)]. Out of the 21 limited wars observed this year, nine escalated from violent crises or non-violent conflicts. The number of violent crises also increased from 164 to 174, of which around 30 percent or 53 in total were observed in Asia & Oceania. Violent intrastate conflicts continued to be the most numerous conflict type, encompassing 136 or around 30% of all observed conflicts.

2022 marked the first year since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that HIIK could undertake parts of its activities in person. In November, we spent several days in Limburg an der Lahn, growing together as a team and preparing for the final editing phase, which could again partially take place in Heidelberg. Starting in September, HIIK cooperated with the International Peace Bureau for a twelve-week social media and online seminar series on “Hidden Conflicts” around the globe. We discussed the background and dynamics of several conflicts according to our methodology, with additional input from activists and academics from the field. In December, we also joined the discussion on how to measure the complexity of three interconnected crises – Climate change, Covid-19 and Conflict – organized by the European Commission’s Community of Practice on Composite Indicators and Scoreboards, sharing our experiences and ideas. Moreover, HIIK continued its educational activities to explain political conflicts and talk with youth on the topic, notably leading to the joint work with Lessing-Gymnasium’s Social Studies Class in Mannheim, Germany.

The Board of Directors would like to thank all editors, heads of regional working groups, and everyone else who contributed to this report for their outstanding efforts, especially during the final stages of editing. Without your commitment, a publication like this would be impossible. When time resources seem to be more limited than ever, voluntary efforts spent on a project like this become even more extraordinary.

The Conflict Barometer 2022 can be downloaded here:

The Board of Directors

Hagen Berning, Clara Gehrling, Ilsa Hameed, Katharina Müller, Katharina Valjak, Tatiana Valyaeva and Sarah Westedt

Heidelberg, May 2023