Claire Woodside, Carleton University Ottawa
Transnational corporations operating in the extractive industries: purveyors of peace or promoters of conflict?
There has been a marked surge of political debate on the role of Transnational Corporations (TNCs) in zones of conflict, post-conflict, and conflict prevention. According to Kofi Annan the role of TNCs in conflict and post conflict zones is “crucial, for good or ill.” Unfortunately, political debate has not led to the creation of a research agenda able to generate systematic knowledge about the positive or negative contributions of TNCs to domestic security.
In this research I pose the question: What is the role of transnational corporations (TNCs) operating in the extractive industries in the outbreak and perpetuation of civil conflict? Current research suggests that corporations have indirect (payments to governments), direct (payments to local guerrilla groups, aiding the military/police to enact violence against the community), and catalytic effects (disruption of the local economy, environmental degradation) on conflict. To better understand these effects I intend to undertake a comparative case study of two or more companies operating in zones of insecurity. Through a detailed analysis I hope to improve our understanding of the role that companies play in either reducing or improving the provision of security in the localities within which they operate.
claire.woodside [at] doctoral-academy [dot] net