A Seat at the Table: Capacities and Limitations of Private Sector Peacebuilding

55 Pages Posted: 16 Jan 2019

See all articles by Ben Miller

Ben Miller

CDA Collaborative Learning

Brian Ganson

University of Stellenbosch Business School; The Fletcher School

Sarah Cechvala

CDA Collaborative Learning

Jason Miklian

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

Date Written: January 7, 2019

Abstract

This report presents the findings of a two-year learning project focused on identifying effective, peace-positive roles for the private sector in fragile and conflict-affected environments. The project’s point of departure is the marked transformation over the past decade in the discourse on companies’ roles in conflict environments. Understanding of the management of social impacts has grown as consensus builds that companies must avoid negative societal impacts — through, for instance, complicity in human rights violations or through operational impacts that create social and environmental harm — as a matter of both risk management and responsible corporate citizenship. Beyond this, a growing number of scholars, governments, NGOs, and multilateral agencies argue that businesses can, do, and should act in ways that also contribute to peace.

Within this context, the project documents a wide range of company practices, connects these to the theories and assumptions on which different approaches are built, and assesses evidence of impact on key drivers of conflict and peace — those factors without which the conflict would not exist or would be significantly different. It also provides practical insights for more effective planning of business practice and interventions intended to influence business practice by peacebuilders, policy makers, and companies themselves.

Keywords: peacebuilding, private sector, business ethics, conflict-sensitive business practice, CSR, human rights, CSV

Suggested Citation

Miller, Ben and Ganson, Brian and Cechvala, Sarah and Miklian, Jason, A Seat at the Table: Capacities and Limitations of Private Sector Peacebuilding (January 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3311737 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3311737

Ben Miller

CDA Collaborative Learning ( email )

United States

Brian Ganson

University of Stellenbosch Business School ( email )

Private Bag X1
Stellenbosch, Western Cape 7602
South Africa

The Fletcher School ( email )

Medford, MA 02155
United States

Sarah Cechvala

CDA Collaborative Learning ( email )

United States

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

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