Corporate Diplomacy: The Role of Business in Promoting Peace and Sustainable Development

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INSTRUCTOR: David Wernick


SCHEDULE: Every Other Wednesday, 11:00am - 1:30pm (Hybrid)

Course Description

Corporate Diplomacy is an emerging field of inquiry that focuses on strategies multinational corporations (MNCs) can take to promote peace, conflict resolution, and sustainable prosperity in the countries where they do business. At the core of Corporate Diplomacy is the idea that MNCs can mitigate the risks that destroy shareholder value by effectively managing relationships with a wide array of external stakeholders, including host governments, local communities, and civil society groups. Unlike Crisis Management, which seeks to manage problems that have already arisen, Corporate Diplomacy focuses on proactive engagement strategies that can foster trust and legitimacy with key stakeholder groups, thereby preventing problems from occurring in the first place. Such strategies include engaging in multi-stakeholder dialogues, public-private partnerships, and investing in Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs and peacebuilding activities. During the semester, students will examine the Corporate Diplomacy efforts of MNCs across a variety of industries and geographical regions, with an eye to identifying best practices that promote peace, reconciliation, collaboration, and deliver value for their various stakeholders.