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Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

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Session Overview
2-SP081: Sustainable Business Models for Peace, Social Justice and Solidarity
Tuesday, 06/July/2021:
11:00am - 12:15pm

Session Chair: Dr. Luis Mah, CESA-ISEG-Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal
Session Chair: Dr. Farwa Sial, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

Session Abstract

Business-led economic growth is at the core of the 2030 global development agenda seen as the primary driver of investments, jobs creation and production of goods and services.Business actors are increasingly being called to play an innovative and more central role to help achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This panel aims to explore if partnerships with business through sustainable governance initiatives can address issues of solidarity, peace and social justice in context to global value chains.

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Wellbeing, Women and Work in Ethiopia: introducing the '3WE' project

Elsje Fourie

University of Maastricht, Netherlands, The

This presentation will introduce and gather expert feedback on the 3WE project, which is funded by NWO-WOTRO and will run at Maastricht University's Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences from 2019 to 2023. There is an urgent need to understand how foreign direct investment (FDI) generated employment is affecting the well-being of workers, and women in particular, in Africa where FDI is becoming one of the main sources of new employment opportunities and economic growth on the continent. Our project will study this question through the case of Ethiopia, one of Africa’s fastest growing economies, with unprecedented rates of female wage labour. It asks whether the rapid influx of FDI from different types of investors into various sectors of the Ethiopian economy is creating decent work (SDG8) and how it impacts the well-being (SDG3) of the women employed in these industries. Achieving gender equality (SDG5) among workers remains a key challenge in rapidly-industrializing Ethiopia, which is currently ranked one of the lowest countries for the Gender Development Index.

Current scholarship on well-being of female workers in developing countries tends to rely on static and sector-specific measures of well-being. This project innovates by combining development studies with social psychology and anthropology to capture a more expansive conceptualization of worker well-being that includes individual, relational and diachronic processes combined with culturally contextualized understandings. It collects data using large-scale surveys, in-depth interviews with female workers and employers, and analysis of corporate social responsibility (CSR) policies and practices. The research innovates also by producing one of the first comparisons between sectors (agriculture/manufacturing) and investors (emerging/established market) contributing evidence to debates in Africa on whether emerging economy investors are undercutting CSR policies of investors from more established economies.

More than a Game: Harnessing the Power of CSR in Football to Develop Sustainable Initiatives for Solidarity, Peace and Social Justice

Tom Woodhouse, Keti Murusidze, Prathivadi B. Anand

University of Bradford, United Kingdom

In this exploratory project we present the case for recognising the importance of sport, and specifically football, as an underestimated force in addressing issues of solidarity, peace and social justice. While there is a flourishing SDP sector globally, the activities of a wide variety of projects and organisations in this sector remains of relatively marginal importance in the work of academics in the fields of business and development studies, international politics and peace research. In Europe, a number of documents - the Helsinki Declaration (2000), the European Model of Sport (2000) and the European Sports Charter (2001) – all established the idea that sport was of social value, while the European Commission White Paper on Sport (2007) has called for a move to more evidence-based policy. In this White Paper, section 2.5 dealt with ‘Using the potential of sport for social inclusion, integration and equal opportunities’.

The approach presented here is based a survey of the CSR projects of football clubs in the major European football leagues, but principally, for the purposes of this pilot phase, English (EPL and EFL), and Spanish (La Liga) professional clubs. Deloitte has estimated that the European football market in 2018 was worth Euro 25.5 billion (£21.9 billion), driven by the ‘big five’ leagues – England, Spain, Germany, Italy, and France. Beyond Europe, football in the world game, a global sport and business with 211 national associations affiliated to FIFA, the world governing body, known also as ‘the United Nations of Football.’

Football is indeed more than a game. Given their financial and social influence, a growing number of football clubs and associations started recognising their role in promoting peace, fostering social inclusion and respect between different cultures and societies. In collaboration with peace scholars and community leaders, football foundations developed their tools and approaches to prevent and deal with bullying and violent behaviours at schools, to integrate refugees and embrace diversity in local communities.

The main objective of this pilot phase of our research is to help to systematise information about the various projects conducted by the English and Spanish clubs related to promoting peace, solidarity and social justice through the creation of a Football and Peacebuilding Knowledge Hub. In its first stage of development the FPK Hub concentrates on selected clubs of two of the major UEFA affiliates, the Football Association in England and the Real Federación Española de Fútbol in Spain. During the presentation we will provide case studies from clubs in both of these leagues to show the range, dynamism and relevance of football as business to the goals of promoting solidarity, peace and social justice. Beyond the pilot phase we would aim to expand the Football and Peacebuilding Knowledge Hub into a comprehensive resource accessible to football CSR, academic researchers, civil society organisations, policy makers in sports governance bodies, and international organisations working on SDG16 to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies.

Understanding the Role of the Private sector in the Peacebuilding in the Bangsamoro Region

Harmond Pedrosa Marte

Hiroshima University, Japan

The ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law (BOL) in January 2019 ushered in optimism in building sustainable peace in Mindanao, Philippines. Following decades of secessionist movement, terrorist acts, and ethnic social cleavages, the BOL hopes to establish a just political system that is representative of the desires of the Bangsamoro people. While parties traditionally involved in the peace agenda include state actors and members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, this research looks at the opportunities by which the business sector made it stake in the peacebuilding program. This paper traces how businesses foster peace in a post-conflict region that goes beyond corporate social responsibility and philanthropic activities. Through a in-person interview of local businesses and trade associations and use of a case-study approach, the research tackles the significance and impact of businesses in security governance and identifies entry points for fruitful engagement. Academic work of Oetzel and Fort in the business for peace literature also underscores pathways by which local businesses can promote peace through a survey of cases studies around the world. As such, it is important to highlight the experience of the Bangsamoro and see how the business and peace nexus in the Philippines is narrated. More importantly, the paper identifies the synergy of private enterprises and human rights under a political climate where state oversight appears minimal. This research investigates the motivation and roles that companies take on when conducting their business in unstable environment.

The Power of Chains: Private Sector, Sustainability and Power Relations

Luis Bernardo

Lisbon School of Management and Economics, Portugal

How does sustainability emerge in global value chains? An emerging research agenda, centered around how power relations are reconfiguring around sustainability and bargaining positions in global value chains, is currently reengaging with the notion of multidimensional governance in those chains.

Four types of power, namely bargaining, demonstrative, institutional and constitutive, have been proposed. In this paper, I apply this framework to the cotton global value chain and discuss how the emergence of overlapping sustainability benchmarks increasingly force buyers and supplier to redefine their relations.

Among these, the Better Cotton Initiative, the Fairtrade Cotton Standard and the Global Organic Textile Standard frame various stages of the value chain. The emergent relevance of sustainability-certified cotton and its relationship with the ongoing politics of cotton at the World Trade Organization, namely as the Cotton Four countries seek to enhance their bargaining position, puts the concept of sustainability-as-infrastructure to the fore. In this context, how does cotton become sustainable?

The case of Portugal as a prime textile producer is especially relevant: 69 Portuguese companies are currently certified as Better Cotton Initiative members and the Portuguese textile sector has recently started a sector-wide transition into sustainable branding. But how does textile output actually become sustainable? Little is know about sourcing practices and the embedding of sustainability into business models in Portugal: what power dynamics are at play here? As actors with traditionally low power in value chains, Portuguese companies are moving to leverage sustainability as bargaining power to compensate for less favorable economies of scale and low marginal productivity.

In this paper, I investigate how sustainability comes into being in the cotton value chain as a result of changing power relations.

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