1. Business and Conflict in Fragile States

    October 8, 2018

    Large-scale investments in fragile states — in Latin America, Africa, the former Soviet Union, and Asia — become magnets for conflict, which undermines business, development, and security.

    International policy responds with regulation, state-building, and institutional reform, with poor and often perverse results. Caught up in old ways of thinking about conflict and fragility, and an age-old fight over whether multinational corporations are good or bad for peaceful development, it leaves business-related conflicts in fragile states to multiply and fester.

    Surveying a new strategic landscape of business and conflict, authors Brian Ganson and Achim Wennmann conclude that neither company shareholders nor advocates for peaceful development need, or should, accept the growing cost of business-related conflict in fragile states. Drawing on decades of experience from mainstream conflict prevention and violence reduction efforts, as well as promising company practice, they show that even acute conflict is manageable when dealt with pragmatically, locally, and on its own terms.

    The analysis and conclusions of this Adelphi book will interest policymakers, business leaders, and community advocates alike — all those hoping to mitigate today’s conflicts while helping to reduce fragility and build a firmer foundation for inclusive development.

    Co-author Ganson is a 1985 graduate from U-M’s College of Literature, Science, and the Arts.