International Business under Adversity

International Business under Adversity

A Role in Corporate Responsibility, Conflict Prevention and Peace

Edited by Gabriele G.S. Suder

What is the role of international business in this dilemma? How and why do international corporations maximize value beyond core strategy and partners through corporate responsibility? This informative and accessible resource expands the readers’ understanding of the ways in which profit maximization, value creation and community benefit interconnect. How to respect the wider business settings and communities, the environment and encourage peace? Is this just another dream? This book clearly provides a starting point for upstream mitigation, in which collective action allows disruption to be avoided at its very roots. It shows the way into responsible business, as a downright condition for an enlightened self-interest for all parties to pursue.

Chapter 4: Instruments of Peace? How Businesses Might Foster Religious Harmony

Timothy L. Fort

Subjects: business and management, corporate governance, international business, economics and finance, corporate governance, politics and public policy, terrorism and security

Extract

Timothy L. Fort 4.1 INTRODUCTION When I first began to research the topic of what is now in the U.S. called “Peace Through Commerce”, I found an odd assortment of resources that had not been put together. Other than Jane Nelson’s book, The Business of Peace (2000), there was no direct integration of business and peace. There were, of course, the usual concepts of how trade fosters peace and the classic philosophical formulations of philosophers such as Kant and Montesquieu that linked commercial republics and peace, but 21st Century business and peace? That was new. Yet in the last ten years or so, the topic has surged in academic interests. In the U.S. alone, a half-dozen conferences were held on the topic along with two special issues of journals: American Business Law Journal and Journal of Corporate Citizenship. In 2007, I hosted my fifth conference on the topic and finished my third book. Governments have begun to take notice. If there was a group of individuals most likely to be skeptical about the positive role businesses might play to encourage peace however, they may well have been not hard-headed political realists but religious believers. Indeed, when I proudly told my former doctoral adviser that I was pursuing the connection as a new research interest, he was flabbergasted. Trying to get businesses to be more ethical was daunting challenge enough; to suggest that they actually play a constructive role in fostering peace, justice and stability was a bit beyond his imagination....

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