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Free Content Communicating Stability: Managing the Regulatory Process to Maximize Communication Infrastructure for Peacebuilding

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The use of information communication technology (ICT) infrastructure for peacebuilding has been an increasingly critical part of the peace making toolkit of governments, multilaterals and civil society. One of the key challenges that governance organizations encounter is how to work with private sector owners of communication capacity to achieve the social benefits ICTs can provide while recognizing the inherent aspects of business continuity that telecommunications firms adhere to. This paper argues that this challenge is best met through policy and regulation with rules set through cooperative processes where government, telecom firms and civil society codify their needs in soft or hard law. To demonstrate the challenges and opportunities of such a process, this paper details a case of telecommunications policy in Samoa. The Samoan example illustrates the potential for misunderstandings and non-cooperation between the government and telecom firms during crises. Solved through soft processes with a focus on balancing the expectations of the government and the needs of firms for meeting costs, the lessons around balancing social benefit with business continuity during periods of social stress speak directly to how ICTs can be used to support peace processes and violence prevention in other cases.
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Keywords: CSR; Disaster management; ICT for peace; Public policy; Regulation; Samoa; Telecommunications

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 01 June 2016

More about this publication?

  • Business, Peace and Sustainable Development (BPSD) aims at understanding the role of the business sector in enhancing peace and reducing violence, and contributing to sustainable development. On the other hand, it is also aimed at understanding the importance of peace to the economy and markets. While some research has been published on business and peace and peace through commerce, BPSD is the first journal dedicated to mutual contribution of business and peace.

    Peace is the absence of violence, but it also incorporates social justice, human rights, stability and sustainable development. Peace is essential to address the global challenges facing humanity today. Without peace we will be unable to achieve the levels of cooperation, inclusiveness and social equity necessary to solve problems such as climate change, global poverty and the health crisis. It is acknowledged that most businesses and industries need a peaceful market to operate and assure a smooth supply chain. As such, the relationship between business and peace is an on-going and mutual one, and needs to be further developed and investigated.

    Corporate Peace is defined as the incorporation of peace and reduction of violence into a company's strategy, decision-making and the value chain in order to raise awareness to peace, support and enhance it. Corporate Peace is an umbrella concept that contains business, social and strategic dimensions.
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