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Wolf, Klaus Dieter; Deitelhoff, Nicole and Engert, Stefan (2007): Corporate Security Responsibility: Towards a Conceptual Framework for a Comparative Research Agenda. In: Cooperation and Conflict, Vol. 42, No. 3: pp. 294-320 [PDF, 191kB]


The political debate about the role of business in armed conflicts has increasingly raised expectations as to governance contributions by private corporations in the fields of conflict prevention, peace-keeping and postconflict peace-building. This political agenda seems far ahead of the research agenda, in which the negative image of business in conflicts, seen as fuelling, prolonging and taking commercial advantage of violent conflicts,still prevails. So far the scientific community has been reluctant to extend the scope of research on ‘corporate social responsibility’ to the area of security in general and to intra-state armed conflicts in particular. As a consequence, there is no basis from which systematic knowledge can be generated about the conditions and the extent to which private corporations can fulfil the role expected of them in the political discourse. The research on positive contributions of private corporations to security amounts to unconnected in-depth case studies of specific corporations in specific conflict settings. Given this state of research, we develop a framework for a comparative research agenda to address the question: Under which circumstances and to what extent can private corporations be expected to contribute to public security?

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