The International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) invited you to the launch of the Adelphi book, Business and Conflict in Fragile States: The Case for Pragmatic Solutions.
Large-scale investments in fragile states – in Latin America, Africa, the former Soviet Union and Asia – have become more common in the last 20 years. Often, foreign investors unwittingly disturb fragile balances that they do not understand, thereby triggering conflict that undermines business, development and security. International policy responds with regulation, institutional reform and state-building efforts, often with poor and 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 economic development, it leaves business-related conflicts in fragile states to fester.
Brian Ganson and Achim Wennmann survey a new strategic landscape of business and conflict. They conclude that neither companies nor development professionals and advocates need accept the growing cost of business-related conflict in fragile states. Drawing on decades of experience from mainstream conflict prevention and violence reduction, 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 launch was chaired by Dr Nicholas Redman, IISS Director of Editorial. It took place in the fifth-floor Lee Kuan Yew Conference Room at Arundel House, 13-15 Arundel Street, Temple Place, London WC2R 3DX*.