Business and Peace

Publisher:
Greenleaf Publishing
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Citation:
Business, Peace and Sustainable Development, 2014, (2), pp. 28 - 55
Issue Date:
2014-01-01
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This paper discusses the relevance and utility of the existing literature on business and peace for resolving armed conflicts related to natural resources. The paper argues that this scholarship is valuable in so far as it opens debate on the potential positive contributions of extractive companies to peacebuilding processes. However this scholarship primarily looks at areas affected by conflict to consider ways that companies with no previous connection to the area might establish a productive business. What is missing in this analysis is a critical engagement with the fact that resource companies are often heavily implicated in the causes of conflict, not just affected by the consequences. Drawing on a case study of Bougainville (Papua New Guinea), the paper highlights numerous roles for business in peacebuilding not previously identified in the business and peace literature. These contributions include very precise expectations for a company that was deeply entangled in the Bougainville conflict, yet wants to return to the island to resume mining. This finding has important implications for future research. In order to ensure the relevance of this scholarship to the extractive sector, there is a need to identify peacebuilding roles for an industry whose activities are often a key factor in the escalation of violence.
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