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Conflict resolution under the COVID-19 pandemic

Jose Roberto Balmori de la Miyar (Business and Economics School, Universidad Anahuac Mexico, Mexico, Mexico)
Lauren Hoehn-Velasco (Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA)
Adan Silverio-Murillo (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico City, Mexico)

International Journal of Conflict Management

ISSN: 1044-4068

Article publication date: 19 November 2021

Issue publication date: 15 March 2022




This paper aims to analyze conflict resolution strategies among individuals who encountered disputes with family, neighbors, workmates, businesses, strangers, government authorities or other members in their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Applying a difference-in-difference approach by sex, the authors use a representative panel of adults living in 82 cities from across Mexico to measure changes in antisocial strategies (violence) and prosocial strategies (non-confrontational methods and dialogue) to resolve disputes.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, men reduced their use of violence by 19.6% while women did so by 17.4%. There was a parallel rise in non-confrontational strategies used to solve conflicts equal to 73.6% for men and 62% for women. The use of dialogue as a tool for resolving disputes increased by more in cities that banned the sale of alcohol. Alternative Twitter data corroborates the main findings, suggesting that individuals are becoming more prosocial during the pandemic.


To the knowledge, this is the first empirical study to analyze changes in strategies for conflict resolution as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. This paper contributes to the literature by demonstrating how individuals adapt their dispute strategies under extraordinary circumstances such as a pandemic, with a focus on a middle-income setting.



Balmori de la Miyar, J.R., Hoehn-Velasco, L. and Silverio-Murillo, A. (2022), "Conflict resolution under the COVID-19 pandemic", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 33 No. 2, pp. 291-310.



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