The impact of Covid-19 on Human Security

The impact of Covid-19 on Human Security

The last time the world was hit by a pandemic was between 1918 and 1920. In that circumstance, it was the so-called “Spanish flu” that killed over 50 million people and infected 500 million people out of a global population of about 2 billion individuals. The death rate of the Spanish flu was even worse than that of the “Black Plague” of the fourteenth century.

When the Spanish Flue started spreading, the First World War was ending and so was the era of imperialism. The world was not globalized yet and Western societies did not benefit from today’s public services and levels of well-being and wealth. The global population communicated mainly through letters and by the postal service. There was no mass media, but newspapers and magazines were the main sources of information.

A century later, the world is once again confronted with a new pandemic phenomenon, the one caused by the spread of the Covid-19 virus. First identified in China in December 2019, the virus soon spread around the world, reaching its fourth wave at the time of writing this paper. In total, from 2019 to date, the people who were infecteed have been 163 million and the dead over 3 million. The outbreak of the pandemic represented a diversified emergency by sectors and by human units. It had first and foremost medical and health impacts and, secondly, economic, security, social and psychological impacts. The measures adopted by individual governments to stem the contagion (lockdown, travel limitation, etc.) had direct consequences on the world job market, on global economic productivity, on the growth and education of the younger generations and eventually on the mental health of individuals.

Therefore, the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has been multiform, heterogeneous, diversified and capable of producing direct effects on the stability of individuals, communities and states. Trying to measure it or to interpret it in a sectorial or monothematic perspective is dangerous and misleading, as can easily bring to lose the overall vision, the pervasiveness and the globality of the phenomenon. On the contrary, only a holistic analysis under the interpretative lens of the concept of Human Security appears capable of offering a more extensive and in-depth look at the Covid topic.

For this reason, CeSI, in collaboration with the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, has launched a project dedicated to understanding how the pandemic has affected Human Security, both at a theoretical-conceptual and practical level.

The “Impact of Covid-19 on Human Security” conference aims at presenting the results of the project, summarized in a dedicated paper, and to stimulate debate for future research and analysis activities and, most of all, to raise awareness on future policy implications of the phenomenon.

The conference will be entirely in English and will take place on the 26th of May, from 10:00 to 11:30 AM (CET), via Cisco Webex platform.

Introductionary Remarks:

  • Dott. Andrea Benzo, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation


  • Marina Caparini,  Director of the Governance and Society Programme - SIPRI
  • Siebrich Visser, Program officer -  Human Security Collective
  • Andrea Grieco, Sustainability  & SDGs Specialist - Will Media


  • Marco Di Liddo, Senior Analyst Desk Africa and Desk Russia and Balkans CeSI - Center for International Studies

To watch again the webinar, click here.

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