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LACS (Virtual) Faculty Colloquium: Corporations, Conflict Prevention and Resolution in Colombia (Molly M. Melin)

When: Tuesday, June 2, 2020
12:00 PM - 1:15 PM CT

Where: Online
Webcast Link

Audience: Faculty/Staff - Post Docs/Docs - Graduate Students

Cost: Free

Contact: Danny Postel  

Group: Latin American and Caribbean Studies

Category: Academic, Lectures & Meetings, Multicultural & Diversity, Global & Civic Engagement


Colombia, having recently emerged from the longest ongoing civil war in the Western Hemisphere, offers evidence of the transformative effect of an emerging active private sector. In 2016, much of Colombia was celebrating a peace agreement ending the civil war between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC). Signs of the end to conflict were widespread and inescapable: government offices touted banners proclaiming their partnership with “paz,” cosmetic companies marketed nail polish colors “tolerant blue,” “inclusive pink,” and “glitter/ shine of trust,” beer ads encouraged drinkers to believe in peace, and milk ads proclaimed, “Today, we are all milk from the same cup.”

While the government’s interest in supporting the deal they helped design is obvious, peace also has some less traditional champions. As the country transitions through the challenges of disarmament and reintegration of rebel troops, private companies are also helping to build peace—and not just with their marketing campaigns. Through hiring practices, infrastructure projects, and economic investments, the private sector often helps “fill the gaps” where governments are unwilling or unable to provide needed goods and services. At the same time, their strong position at the negotiating table may have prolonged the conflict. This presentation explores the role of corporations in Colombia’s peace process.

Molly M. Melin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Science at Loyola University Chicago. Her research and teaching interests are in the areas of international relations and political methodology, with emphasis on international conflict and conflict management. She is also interested in strategic studies, international organizations and foreign policy decision-making. Her publications on third party interventions in international conflicts, the dynamics of conflict expansion, and peacekeeping operations have appeared in International Studies Quarterly, the Journal of Conflict Resolution, Conflict Management and Peace Science, and International Interactions. Her current research explores the role of the private sector in peacebuilding.


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