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Title: The business of peace and the politics of inclusion : what role for local 'licit' and 'illicit' business actors in peace mediation?
Author: Kaye, Josie Lianna
ISNI:       0000 0004 9351 3920
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2020
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The increasing recognition of the negative and positive roles played by local business actors in countries in conflict has yet to translate into their consistent inclusion in peace mediation. Despite the ‘local turn’ in peacebuilding, local businesses actors are excluded from the United Nations-led discourse on inclusion, which prioritises non-state armed groups, civil society, women and, increasingly, youth. This discourse overlaps with the discourse on ‘business for peace’ (B4P), which constructs businesses as economic actors and excludes peace mediation from its definition of ‘peace’. Consequently, there are no Security Council resolutions on business, peace and security; no UN guidance notes, internal briefings or protocols; no UN Staff college trainings; and, no UN leaders advocating for business actors to have a seat at the table, or even in the broader process. As further evidence of their ‘neglect’ and/or exclusion from peace mediation, since 1990 only: 13.3 per cent of peace agreements reference at least one ‘licit’ business actor; 4.4 per cent reference ‘illicit’ business actors; and, merely 2.5 per cent reference both - 22 peace agreements out of 889 in 30 years. Using case studies on Yemen (2011-2016) and Somaliland (1990-1997), this thesis demonstrates that both ‘licit’ and ‘illicit’ business actors play distinctly political roles in war to peace transitions, as: supporters and/or humanitarian aid providers (‘benefactors’); beneficiaries of the government and the war economy (‘profiteers’); mediators and peacemakers (‘intermediaries’); and, conflict actors or spoilers (‘agitators’). Indeed, such actors are deeply enmeshed in the dynamics of conflict and peace, and simultaneously in the production of statehood and in processes that undermine it as a result of social ties that inform, shape and constrain the roles business actors play. Their exclusion from the analyses, strategies and considerations of international mediators may inadvertently be contributing to pervasive cycles of violence and conflict. This thesis advances the theory – and, practice - of a ‘local business lens in peace mediation’ which can be used by international mediators across all mediation ‘tracks’ to engage meaningfully with local power dynamics through the inclusion of local business actors in: mediation strategies/processes; peace agreements/settlements; and to better inform the structure of peace processes.
Supervisor: Caplan, Richard Sponsor: Oxford-Wolfson-Marriott-Politics and International Relations Graduate Scholarship
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mediation, International ; International agencies ; Peace-building ; Peace treaties ; Public-private sector cooperation ; Business and politics ; Non-state actors (International relations)