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Corporate Social Responsibility As Economic and Infrastructural Development: Economic Development For Protection of Investment Profit and Personnel

Carole Ramsay, Proceedings of 57th Annual Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute (2011)

When we think of solving issues of international conflict and security, international organizations of the public sector—governmental and nongovernmental—come to mind. Businesses, however—international organizations of the private sector—have a powerful role to play as well; a role that will improve their bottom lines through both cost savings and revenue generation.
Getting to this role requires the following understanding. We can harvest much information and innovation from conflict. Conflict is valuable, but violence is not. We do not want to stop conflict but we do want to decrease the likelihood that it will become violent. The best way to do that is through economic development and grievance pathways. The best way to create economic development and grievance pathways is through the sector that is already best at it: the private sector.
Firms are not only the sector already most steeped in economic development, they are also the organizations bearing significant portions of the costs of conflict and insecurity: work is stopped by protests, productivity plummets at the onset of violence, expatriate workers are at risk in the field. And advent of civil war, of course, creates costs to firms against which all of these pale in comparison.
This chapter will delineate a private-sector-based framework for implementing that conceptual paradigm in the field—to the benef