I agree fully with what Victor wrote. I think that businesses should push peace by moving to developing countries and employing their citizens. It is well known that unemployment leads to an increase in crime and vice. When multinational companies invest in developing nations, they allow for an increase in income to the citizens and a reduction in violence. I also strongly agree that more direct attempts at solving internal conflicts should be left to governments rather than multinational companies.
I think that businesses should play a fairly large role in developing approaches to empirically assess the contribution of business actions to peace. If businesses were able to develop a way to concretely say that multinational business investment leads to more peace, it is basically a guarantee that countries struggling to foster peace will be more open to foreign investment. Although the future empirical study may show business doesn't foster peace, it is more than likely to show that it does. If future studies show that it does not, then multinational businesses will realize that in order to be successful internationally, they will need to change their strategy in order to foster peace.
Victor Lu said:
Regarding the third discussion question - specifically "What role should business play in developing these approaches?" – I can’t help but think about potential perverse incentives that could be introduced. As an example, the documentary Poverty Inc. illustrates how many of the most well-intentioned charitable efforts to eradicate poverty actually reinforced many of the underlying causes of poverty. This is because charitable handouts to poor countries in the form of free or subsidized resources can disrupt local entrepreneurial efforts that have greater potential to introduce sustainable prosperity.
I am of the opinion that businesses operating in poor countries will inherently support conditions for greater peace (provided that they operate ethically) through the creation of employment opportunities and economic growth – two powerful drivers of societal stability. Thus, the best role businesses could play in the contributing to peace is to pursue the profit motive. More direct attempts at developing peace – perhaps in the form of conflict intervention – should be left to state authorities.