Business for Peace: The New Paradigm of International Peacebuilding and Development

26 Pages Posted: 15 Dec 2014

See all articles by Jason Miklian

Jason Miklian

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO); University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment

Peer Schouten

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies

Date Written: December 14, 2014

Abstract

The new 'Business For Peace' (B4P) paradigm urges multinational corporations (MNCs) to enter conflict zones and fragile post-conflict environments as an alternative to traditional development aid. While B4P's positive impact through economic opening and Corporate Social Responsibility is assumed, corporate presence can instead exacerbate conflict dynamics in certain settings. As B4P is becoming a standardized component throughout all multilateral development aid activities per the United Nations Global Compact B4P platform and the UN's 'Delivering As One' mandate, we argue that bringing B4P into the forefront of research on business, development, and conflict is essential. In this article, we unpack the relationships between business, conflict and liberal peace politics that led to the B4P framework. We then show how five major debates influence B4P today: if MNCs should be peacebuilders; if so, what should they do; how do we define and model 'peace' activities; how businesses navigate conflict economies; and how businesses engage with informal economies. We then show how these discussions guide the international community's multi-billion dollar development agenda and influence how businesses see their new role as peacebuilders and peacemakers. We conclude with suggestions for forward research on this rapidly emerging topic.

Keywords: business, development aid, conflict, Business For Peace (B4P), business ethics, liberal peace, Corporate Social Responsibility, peacebuilding, private security, checkpoints, multinational corporations (MNCs)

JEL Classification: F43, F50, F51, F52, F53, F54

Suggested Citation

Miklian, Jason and Schouten, Peer, Business for Peace: The New Paradigm of International Peacebuilding and Development (December 14, 2014). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2538113 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2538113

Jason Miklian (Contact Author)

International Peace Research Institute, Oslo (PRIO) ( email )

Oslo
N-0260 Oslo
Norway

University of Oslo - Centre for Development and the Environment ( email )

P.O. Box 1116 Blindern
K1A 0G9
0317 Oslo
Norway

Peer Schouten

University of Gothenburg - School of Global Studies ( email )

POB 700
Gothenburg, SE 40530
Sweden

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