The Business & Peace Program conducts policy-relevant research and disseminates publications on the topic. Several of the policy-oriented projects are mandated by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs' Human Security Division. The main research questions are:  

  • What are the contributions of international and local business actors to a sustainable peace and stable economic development? What positive roles can companies play in a high-risk setting?
  • What are the determinants, advantages or disadvantages of business activities in conflict-settings? Why are some companies more endangered to trigger conflict than others? Why are business activities in some conflict-settings more problematic?


Research Projects


Project for the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, 2013

UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights

Departmental research (Ressortforschung) to explore the ways of implementing the UN Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights in five European countries. swisspeace Essential 4|2013.

Swiss National Science Foundation / Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation

NCCR North- South: Research Project 6 “The Role of the Private Sector in Peace Promotion"

Lead: Dr. Andrea Iff /Dr. Bishnu Raj Upreti
Duration: 2001 –2013/2014
Total NCCR North-South Budget: CHF 7’200’000. More info. NCCR North-South.

Project for the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, 2009-2010

The Role of Business Actors in Mediation Processes

swisspeace is carrying out a research project exploring and analyzing the role of business actors in mediation processes.

Mandate for Deutsche Stiftung Friedensforschung (DSF), 2009

Tourism, Peace and Conflict - How Far does Self-Interest Carry? - Motivating and Impeding Factors for Corporate Engagement in Peacebuilding

This project aimed at contributing to a better understanding of the motivating and deterring factors for corporate engagement in peace. Focusing on the  empirical research on the conflict vulnerable tourism sector in Croatia, Rwanda and Sri Lanka, the paper argues that economic incentives are an important though not sufficient motivation for most forms of corporate engagement in peace. swisspeace Working Paper 1|2009.

Directorate of International Law of Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), 2008

Private Military and Security Companies

The goal of the project was to provide some tentative insights into the perceived positive and negative, direct and indirect impacts of Private Security Companies (PSCs) on the local population. The exploratory study was based on two separately conducted case studies in Afghanistan and Angola. swisspeace Working Paper 01| 2008.


Academic Conferences and Teachings


10 - 12 November 2016

Business, Conflict & Human Rights Course

What is needed for businesses to operate responsibly in volatile areas? The course explores this question from various angles. It discusses state of the art international standards on business and human rights and ways for companies to implement them. More information

Andrea Iff

Resource conflicts. Causes, Symptoms and Solutions

Seminar, spring semester 2016, University of Basel. Details.

22 January 2016

Opportunities and challenges businesses face in Myanmar

swisspeace Associate Expert Rina Alluri provided an input to the Geneva School of Business Administration (HEG) “Business in Asia” students. The purpose of this seminar is to evaluate the gradual opening of the Burmese economy, raise market awareness, identify business opportunities, promote networks, and anticipate future potential following the autumn 2015 democratic election in Myanmar.

Rina Alluri

Businesses in conflict contexts: roles, responsibilities and risks

Seminar, fall semester 2015, University of Basel. Details

11-12 December 2014

Role of local business in post-war Sri Lanka

Rina Alluri presented a paper at the Sri Lanka Roundtable organized by the University of Amsterdam, Netherlands.

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