Entrepreneurial Pathways to Peacemaking

Originally published in SSRN

Violent conflict is a global phenomenon with devastating costs to individuals and their communities. Government experts and policymakers have responded with efforts to reduce violence and make peace. Such efforts are often implemented from the top-down, however, and are consequently limited in their peacemaking capacities. Top-down peacemaking is limited because it is typically done by community outsiders who simply lack the knowledge and capabilities to systematically plan and make peace in diverse societies throughout the world. We discuss a bottom-up alternative to peacemaking grounded in entrepreneurship. We argue that entrepreneurs make peace by (a) offering individuals a peaceful means to acquire the things they desire, (b) establishing commercial links across (social and geographic) distances, and, in so doing, (c) helping to cultivate habits of peacefulness.

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