Third Party Event

swisspeace: Business, Conflict & Peacebuilding Course

Learn and exchange about challenges and best practices for responsible business in conflict contexts.

Businesses are commonly seen as the ‘bad guys’ in fragile and conflict-affected areas. However, the roles businesses play in such environments are more complex. While some companies have been accused of committing human rights violations and exacerbating conflicts, others have been commended for advocating a peaceful resolution to conflict or actively engaging in international peace initiatives. One factor that heavily influences the way in which businesses operate in conflict contexts is their relationship to other actors like home states, host states, non-state armed actors, other businesses and civil society organizations.

swisspeace: Business, Conflict & Peacebuilding Course

Finding a way to deal with a violent past following events such as civil war, the end of an authoritarian regime or occupation, is often argued to be the basis for lasting peace, democracy and rule of law. International advocacy networks, norms and legal frameworks support national and local actors in the design of mechanisms and processes, such as with truth commissions, tribunals or commemorations. The interactions of these actors shape whether or not a particular dealing with the past process succeeds in being locally relevant and effective. This course examines the potentials and challenges for the design and implementation of dealing with the past processes. Engaging with key debates in the field, it focuses on how to ensure that dealing with the past processes support the transformation of violent conflicts.

The course consists of preparatory readings and a 2-day on-site training (Friday and Saturday) at the University of Basel. The course schedule is 9h00-12h30 and 14h00-17h30 (may be subject to change). Half-hour coffee breaks during both sessions offer the perfect opportunity to get to know better your fellow participants and to expand your professional and academic network. The detailed program will be sent to participants in due time.

Our faculty uses innovative teaching techniques to enhance the learning experience. These include:

  • expert inputs and exchange with experienced international scholars and practitioners
  • exercises in which participants apply the acquired tools in case studies and relate them to their own experiences
  • peer exchange during which participants share best practices and develop strategies to face potential challenges in practice or research
  • self-study in which participants deepen their knowledge on business, conflict and peacebuilding

In this course you will:

  • Get a global understanding of the various positive and negative impacts companies may have in fragile and conflict-affected areas.
  • Develop knowledge on some key international policy frameworks on business, peace and human rights and their challenges.
  • Learn more about conflict-sensitive business practices that help businesses operate successfully in fragile and conflict-affected areas while having a lasting impact on peace.
  • Better understand the perspectives of state actors, businesses and civil society organizations.
  • Exchange experiences and become part of a community of practice.

This course is an ideal preparation and complement to the participation at the UN Forum on Business and Human Rights, taking place from 25 to 27 November 2019 in Geneva.

All courses are taught in English.
All courses take place in the premises of the University of Basel

Candidates must have:

- a university degree in a related discipline such as political science, law, economics or sociology
- at least two years of professional experience
- a good command of English.


Target audience professionals from business, civil society and government involved in promoting responsible business in fragile and conflict-affected areas
Organizer swisspeace in cooperation with the University of Basel
Event language


Cost of participating CHF 1100.-

To be announced soon.
Visit for last year's faculty. 

Registration deadline

Head Continuing Education
+41 31 330 12 09




University of Basel

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