International Business under Adversity A Role in Corporate Responsibility, Conflict Prevention and Peace
A Role in Corporate Responsibility, Conflict Prevention and Peace
Edited by Gabriele G.S. Suder
Chapter 4: Instruments of Peace? How Businesses Might Foster Religious Harmony
4. Instruments of peace? How businesses might foster religious harmony 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...
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