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Peace through Commerce

Responsible Corporate Citizenship and the Ideals of the United Nations Global Compact

Edited by Oliver F. Williams, C.S.C.

Publication Year: 2008

In today’s global economy, business leaders need to develop new policies and practices aimed at promoting responsible corporate citizenship. The United Nations Global Compact, launched in 2000, serves as a forum in which multinational businesses work to promote human rights, prevent violent conflict, and contribute to more peaceful societies. Peace through Commerce: Responsible Corporate Citizenship and the Ideals of the United Nations Global Compact contains a foreword, introduction, and twenty-one chapters by major business leaders and scholars who discuss the issues set out by the UN Global Compact. The chapters address the purpose of the corporation; the influence of legal and peace studies; the experience of career NGO officials and of business leaders; how commerce can help promote peace; and how we might envision the future. Ten case studies document the efforts of individual businesses, including IBM, Chevron, Bristol-Myers-Squibb, General Electric, Nestle, and Ford, to successfully serve society’s interests as well as their own. Peace through Commerce will lay the groundwork for courses in business schools on corporate social responsibility, corporate citizenship, and global environment of business.

Published by: University of Notre Dame Press


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pp. v-viii

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pp. ix-xx

It is an honor to introduce this volume containing the reflections of distinguished international scholars and renowned business leaders on the theme of corporate citizenship in a global economy. Some thoughts from my long career in business may serve to put some of these ideas ...

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pp. 1-10

At the founding of the United Nations in 1945, political and business leaders as well as scholars shared the conviction that commerce could play an important role in fostering peace. Half a century later, with the emergence of the interlocking global economy and the enormous new reach of business, the business community faces new challenges in its engagement ...

The Emerging Purpose of the Corporation

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The Purpose of the Corporation

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pp. 13-54

The purpose of the corporation has been much discussed both in the academic literature and in business circles. This chapter will examine the notion of corporate purpose as presented in the academic literature, as well as that suggested by Catholic Social Thought. To fully comprehend this purpose and its implications, it is necessary ...

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Moral Maturity, Peace through Commerce, and the Partnership Dimension

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pp. 55-74

In the space of a few short years, the idea that businesses might be able to make positive contributions to sustainable peace has come a long way. In 2006 at least four U.S.-based academic institutions—held conferences on the topic of Peace through Commerce. The accrediting body for business schools in seventy-two countries, the ...

Influences from the Disciplines of Law and Peace Studies

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Transnational Corporate Accountability and the Rule of Law

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pp. 77-95

In June 2006 Professor John Ruggie, the United Nations Secretary-General’s Special Representative on Business and Human Rights (hereafter the SGSR) reflected on his mandate and the status of the draft of Norms on the Responsibilities of Transnational Corporations and Other Business Enterprises with Respect to Human Rights,1 which was ...

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The Role of Corporate Actors in Peace- Building Processes

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pp. 96-106

Within the field of peace building I work in the tradition of a practitioner-scholar. I have spent more time in the field than the classroom, working with peace initiatives and people in settings of deep-rooted conflict. Three recent experiences from my work in the field speak to the challenges of commerce and peace building at both the macro and micro ...

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Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment and the Deracialization of the South African Economy

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pp. 107-116

Globally the debate on the changing role of business in society recently has gained momentum in both scope and intensity. The Millennium Developmental Goals (MDGs), the UN Global Compact, the World Summit on Sustainable Development, the increasing importance and role of civil ...

Some Lessons from the Experience of Seasoned Professionals

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False Promises and Premises?

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pp. 119-132

Peace cannot be mined, manufactured, outsourced, hired, contracted, bought, or sold. Peace is essentially a political process, not an economic one. How, then, is peace the business of business? Do corporations really have any business engaging in peace building? In the following pages I will argue both that they do not—and that they do. Building on the collected ...

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International Concord and Intranational Discord

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pp. 133-154

It is difficult to come to grips with the complexities of commerce and the role it plays in both peace and confl ict. It seems to me, based on fi fteen years of experience in developing countries, that international peace is much enhanced by international trading—that is, by active commerce. For many developing, ...

Ensuring the Success of Peace through Commerce

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Impact Assessment, Transparency, and Accountability

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pp. 157-198

Wealth matters. It pays for clean water, for vaccinations, for education, for the onslaught on infant and maternal mortality. It pays for the transportation and communication infrastructure that opens opportunities and for the energy that liberates humanity from millennia of soul-destroying, back-breaking toil. It kick-starts economic growth and generates employment, and in a self-reinforcing ...

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Stretching the Limits of Corporate Responsibility

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pp. 199-238

The UN Secretary-General rightly asks the business community to refrain from taking away, by its lobbying activities, what it offers through corporate responsibility and philanthropy.1 This chapter will look into ways and means to encourage exemplary corporate conduct, including philanthropy, to enhance efforts to reduce poverty and accelerate human development. It will also deal ...

Some Case Studies

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A Public-Private Partnership for Enterprise Development

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pp. 241-262

The private sector plays a vital role in alleviating the prevalence of poverty in most developing countries. There are many encouraging results all over the world that demonstrate that the private sector has contributed significantly to economic growth, job creation, increasing incomes for the poor, and, ultimately, poverty reduction. The private sector ...

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Producing Generic Medicines in Afghanistan

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pp. 263-282

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant was probably one of the first to see the benefits of nations cooperating through commercial relationships, thereby avoiding armed conflicts and, in particular, wars between two or more nations.1 People have spread throughout the Earth and have been forced to develop lawful relations with each other. States were formed for defense against ...

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Grassroots Enterprise Development in Post- Conflict Southern Sudan and Darfur

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pp. 283-306

In this chapter we describe the development of a research program aimed at discovering what assets and approaches may be mobilized to optimize the conditions for self-reliant grassroots enterprise development in post-conflict Southern Sudan and Darfur. We also present the results of preliminary fieldwork conducted in Sudan in 2006 and provide some thoughts on ...

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Ford Motor Company, Human Rights, and Environmental Integrity

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pp. 307-328

Ford Motor Company and its leaders are committed to providing long-term, sustainable prosperity for both their firm and society as a whole. People today and future generations need mobility, jobs, family income, and a natural environment that will support them.1 Ford cooperates with many nongovernmental organizations to achieve greater prosperity and peace for both present and future generations. Ford Motor Company employed ...

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Creating Shared Value

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pp. 329-335

This chapter is divided into three parts. A brief introduction will provide the moral platform for the efforts that Nestl

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IBM and Corporate Citizenship

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pp. 336-348

Corporate citizenship describes a company’s total dealings with the community—local, regional, national, or global. It encompasses traditional corporate philanthropy as well as activities far beyond the traditional. A company’s record of social responsibility is a critical component of its brand value, and if properly planned and delivered, it can provide a significant competitive advantage...

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General Electric and Corporate Citizenship

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pp. 349-366

Africa is, by far, the most impoverished continent in the world. Thirty-five out of the bottom thirty-eight ranked nations, including the bottom twenty-two, on the 2006 United Nations Human Development Index were African nations.1 Additionally, thirty-four of the least developed nations in the world are in Africa 2 Africa was the only region of the world where per capita GDP fell ...

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From Being Apart to Being Partners

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pp. 367-380

In 1871 a gentleman by the name of Cecil John Rhodes arrived at the South African diamond fields. He acquired a few claims for himself and then started to buy up the claims of those who failed around him. Slowly he built an empire that today still dominates the world diamond industry in the form of De Beers. At the time, Rhodes ...

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Occidental Petroleum, Cerrej

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pp. 381-402

One theme in the ongoing debate about the role of business in the new global setting is whether multinational corporations (MNCs) can act as a source of positive influence in weak governance zones. In other words, can MNCs conduct operations in ways that promote democracy and human rights, that do not exacerbate armed conflict, and that support sustainable peace? Companies, ...

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Bristol-Myers Squibb Company

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pp. 403-409

Bristol-Myers Squibb’s “Secure the Future: Care and Support for Women and Children with HIV/AIDS” program was announced on May 6, 1999. With a $100 million commitment, it was designed initially for implementation in five countries in southern Africa: Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho, South Africa, ...

Some Conclusions and a Vision for the Future

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Multinational Enterprises

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pp. 413-430

As has been demonstrated in this volume, it is to the advantage of both corporations and nongovernmental organizations to collaborate if each is to achieve its objectives in today’s information-rich, integrated world. Corporate management is increasingly aware of the need to position their firms to serve social preferences ...

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Responsible Corporate Citizenship and the Ideals of the United Nations Global Compact

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pp. 431-452

This final chapter will offer some overarching reflections that may apply to many of the essays in this volume. The premise of the chapter is that while corporate social responsibility (CSR), or corporate citizenship, is not a new idea, what is emerging in some of these company accounts is a new role for the firm within society. Some companies have a view of corporate citizenship that envisions a state-like role for the corporation, which becomes ...


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pp. 453-454


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pp. 455-459

E-ISBN-13: 9780268096564
E-ISBN-10: 0268096562
Print-ISBN-13: 9780268044145
Print-ISBN-10: 0268044147

Page Count: 512
Publication Year: 2008