Building Peace in Fragile States — Building Trust is Essential for Effective Public-Private Partnerships

Journal of Business Ethics 89 (4):481 - 494 (2009)
Increasingly, the private sector is playing a greater role in supporting peace building efforts in conflict and post-conflict areas by providing critical expertise, know-how, and capital. However, reports of the corrupt practices of both governments and businesses have plagued international peace building efforts, deepening the distrust of stricken communities. Businesses are perceived as being selfish and indifferent to the impact their operations may have on the social and political development of local communities. Additionally, the corruption of local governments has been cited as interfering with the creation of stability in conflict areas. Within this framework, multinational Public-Private Partnerships can exert two forms of influence: they can either exacerbate these problems, or they can become part of the solution. Without a relationship of trust among local businesses, government, and the private sector, peace building efforts will at best be mixed, and could possibly perpetuate violence in fragile states. Public and private interests are better served when Public-Private Partnerships are based upon collaboration and assist in establishing principles of good governance in conflict areas. This in turn can help build trust and regain the credibility of both sectors among local communities, which are essential in making Public— Private Partnerships more effective
Keywords building peace  ethics  capacity building  corporate responsibility  corruption  good governance  public–private partnership  rule of law
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