Business and Peace

How businesses influence peacebuilding processes, from the local to international spheres

What roles do businesses play in facilitating peace? While business-conflict ties are well-researched, the more aspirational elements of business engagements in peacebuilding - including both operational and philanthropic activities - are less understood. In addition, local, national and multinational businesses all engage with conflict actors differently, which may make for unique opportunities for each as they navigate within conflict and peacebuilding processes. This research group aims to explore the spectrum of business and peacebuilding, from business influences on interstate conflicts to their role in local settings, including both qualitative and quantitative streams.

The work of the Business and Peace research group is primarily focused on (but not limited to) three overarching themes, each of which house many different research agenda items.

  1. The role and effectiveness of multinational corporations and local businesses as peace actors, through their operational, philanthropic, and Corporate Social Responsibility ventures.
  2. Efforts by international institutions, non-governmental organizations and governments to encourage businesses to play more extensive roles in peacebuilding.
  3. The role and effectiveness of businesses as peacebuilding actors in local communities beset by conflict or otherwise classified as hosting volatile environments or complex emergencies.

PRIO's work on Business and Peace engages scholars from the fields of Anthropology, Sociology, History, Political Science, Philosophy, Development Studies, International Relations and other disciplines. Using both qualitative and quantitative approaches, PRIO's research on Business and Peace attempts to better understand how businesses can help to both build peace and limit their own negative operational impacts.

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