Academic discussions of fair trade have traditionally viewed this global social movement through the lenses of international development and globalization as an attempt to address the structural injustice of the prevailing (free) trade system. Fridell (2007, 24) says, ‘from a theoretical perspective, the origins of the [fair trade] network’s development vision lie in the structuralist, dependency and world systems theories’ which argue that the existing gap between core (i.e., rich) and periphery (i.e., poor) countries is maintained, in part, through international trade policies. Murray and Raynolds (2007, 6) agree, suggesting that fair trade, or alternative trade as it was more commonly referred to in its early days, ‘is best understood as an emerging response to the negative effects of contemporary globalization, and particularly to the often unjust and inequitable nature of contemporary international trade’. The fair trade movement, which developed out of an array of approaches to social justice and decolonization, remains multi-faceted, but one of its enduring and to date neglected aspects, we would argue, has been its focus on peacebuilding and the link between peacebuilding and development. However, as we discuss, the concept of peace and peacebuilding within fair trade is contested, as fair trade concepts have embedded both the non-violence of the Historic Peace Churches and the fight for a just peace by the proponents of liberation theology. In this chapter we propose to do three things.
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