Mapping Business-Peace Interactions: Five Assertions for How Businesses Create Peace
36 Pages Posted: 30 Dec 2016
Date Written: December 29, 2016
The conjunction of business and peace is a growing global phenomenon, but conducted and researched over a vast array of fields and contextual settings. This article provides theoretical order for this disparate material, illustrating cutting-edge research and highlighting the most urgent knowledge gaps to fill. Extracting findings from the business community, international organizations, and the academic community, this article maps these findings into five assertions about how businesses impact upon peace: economic engagement facilitates a peace dividend; encouraging local development facilitates local capacities for peace; importing international norms improves democratic accountability; firms can constrain the drivers or root causes of conflict; and undertaking direct diplomatic efforts with conflict actors builds and/or makes peace. These assertions provide a framework for categorizing and testing prominent business-peace arguments. They also support preliminary arguments that businesses cannot expect to be rewarded as peacebuilders just because they undertake peacebuilding activities, that economic opening only brings as much peace as a local regime will allow, and that truly courageous business-peace choices are rarely made in fragile contexts. This framework can encourage more coherent scholarly findings and more effective business engagements within the complex and challenging realm of peacebuilding.
Keywords: peacebuilding, Business For Peace (B4P), Business ethics, liberal peace, Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR), multinational corporations (MNCs), corporate diplomacy, international norms
JEL Classification: F2, F23, M14, Q13, Q34, D74, F5, F50, F51, F54
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation