Jason Miklian

Jason Miklian
University of Oslo · Centre for Development and the Environment (SUM)

PhD, NMBU, Norway; MSc, International Relations, LSE
Senior Researcher, business, development and peacebuilding | Climate change and conflict | Based in Bogotá / Oslo.

About

94
Publications
42,068
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Introduction
I am a Senior Researcher at SUM. My main research is on the role of businesses as agents of sustainable development and corporate engagement for the 'Business for Peace' paradigm and UN SDG 16 in Colombia, Myanmar, India, DRC, and Bangladesh, among others. I am a member of several expert groups and advisory boards on business, peace and development, and have written for or been cited in an expert capacity by the New York Times, BBC, Economist, AFP, Guardian, Washington Post, and similar.
Additional affiliations
January 2011 - June 2014
Norwegian University of Life Sciences (NMBU)
Position
  • PhD Student
April 2007 - present
Peace Research Institute Oslo
Position
  • Senior Researcher

Publications

Publications (94)
Book
The deadliest storm in modern history ripped Pakistan in two and led the world to the brink of nuclear war when American and Soviet forces converged in the Bay of Bengal. In November 1970, a storm set a collision course with the most densely populated coastline on Earth. Over the course of just a few hours, the Great Bhola Cyclone would kill 500,0...
Article
Climate change. Globalization. Inequality. Over the next 20 years this trifecta will produce a period of uncertainty that will make the previous two decades look positively stable. How can business leaders ensure that their companies are confident, nimble, and successful instead of timid and unprofitable? The answer lies in three strategies that ha...
Article
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Economic crises, natural disasters, armed conflict and infectious disease outbreaks, amongst others, present interlinked challenges for small businesses, and have generated a recent wealth of research across varied fields. Therefore, this article outlines an analytical lens suggesting how SMEs experience shocks and crises that focuses on the interl...
Article
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Purpose This paper aims to present a new survey data set of 9,065 private sector respondents and other stakeholder groups, in Myanmar. The primary aim of this paper is to offer new insight avenues on local business–conflict–development interactions, and offer the full survey data set itself as an open-source research tool for scholars and practitio...
Article
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Climate change amplifies social, political, economic, infrastructural and environmental challenges in many Global South cities, and perhaps no city is more vulnerable than Bangladesh's capital of Dhaka. Climate-induced rural-urban migration is a profound concern, and Dhaka's political leaders have embraced technology-based innovation as one solutio...
Article
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The COVID-19 pandemic makes us vividly aware of the major global imbalances and challenges that we collectively face today (Sakketa and Koebner, 2020; Sumner et al., 2020). As we witness too often, a crisis – whether economic, political, environmental or social – tends to hit the poorest, weakest and most marginal the hardest, laying bare the most...
Article
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Over the last decades, encouragement of business engagement with environmental and socioeconomic development has gained prominence due to the perceived weakening of states and multilateral institutions against the forces of global capitalism. Different ways of encouraging changes in business behavior have been promoted, such as the formation of pub...
Article
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How can we better understand the complex interaction effects that are triggered when businesses and international government agencies become partners in social development? To answer, this article presents field experiences of Heineken in the Democratic Republic of Congo, ethnic cleansing in Myanmar, and the United Nations Global Compact in Dubai,...
Article
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After decades of isolation, Myanmar opened up its economy to international trade in 2012. This opening led to a rapid influx of international investment, exposure to the international corporate social responsibility (CSR) community and presumed pressures to conform to related norms and practices. We report on a large-scale survey of firms operating...
Book
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The intersection of business, peace and sustainable development is becoming an increasingly powerful space, and is already beginning to show the capability to drive major global change. This book deciphers how different forms of corporate engagement in the pursuit of peace and development have different impacts and outcomes. It looks specifically a...
Article
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Colombia’s transition to a post-conflict country has brought security gains and economic benefits to many parts of the country. However, this transition has come amidst political polarization, state weakness, and continuing illicit economies. In this report, we analyze how the private sector has reacted to this changing political and economic envir...
Article
Full-text available
After decades of isolation, Myanmar opened up its economy to international trade in 2012. This opening led to a rapid influx of international investment, exposure to the international corporate social responsibility (CSR) community and presumed pressures to conform to related norms and practices. We report on a large-scale survey of firms operating...
Article
Full-text available
Colombia’s transition to a post-conflict country has brought security gains and economic benefits to many parts of the country. However, this transition has come amidst political polarization, state weakness, and continuing illicit economies. In this brief, we discuss how the private sector has reacted to this changing political and economic enviro...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents the findings of a two-year learning project focused on identifying effective, peace-positive roles for the private sector in fragile and conflict-affected environments. It incorporates in-depth case studies, literature reviews, and extensive expert consultation. It was carried out by CDA Collaborative Learning (CDA), the Africa...
Research
Full-text available
This report presents the findings of a two-year learning project focused on identifying effective, peace-positive roles for the private sector in fragile and conflict-affected environments. It incorporates in-depth case studies, literature reviews, and extensive expert consultation. It was carried out by the Africa Centre for Dispute Settlement at...
Article
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After Myanmar ended military rule in 2011, significant foreign investment arrived to facilitate a profitable transition to an integrated regional economy, and under the promise that foreign actors can help facilitate peaceful long-term development. However, these firms have also tacitly supported an ethnic cleansing committed by the government that...
Article
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What role does business play in peace-building and conflict reduction? This special issue tackles this complex question, exploring varied business efforts to bring peace through six rigorous qualitative cases in Myanmar, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Somaliland, Brazil, Guatemala and El Salvador. Three main findings cut across this iss...
Article
Full-text available
This report presents the findings of a two-year learning project focused on identifying effective, peace-positive roles for the private sector in fragile and conflict-affected environments. It incorporates in-depth case studies, literature reviews, and extensive expert consultation. It was carried out by CDA Collaborative Learning (CDA), the Africa...
Technical Report
Full-text available
What are the conditions under which businesses can move beyond ‘doing no harm’ in the fragile and conflict-affected societies where they work to deliver more tangible positive peace dividends? Designed for businesses, practitioners, scholars and others who are interested and engaged in corporate impact in such areas, this report provides an overvie...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This report presents insights from the research project India in the World: Emerging Perspectives on Global Challenges (INDWORLD), funded by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs as a part of the institutional cooperation between the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). Over a twelve-ye...
Article
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This article explores the implications of ‘business for peace’ (B4P), a new global governance paradigm that aims to put international businesses at the frontline of peace, stability and development efforts in fragile and conflict­affected states. This article argues that B4P entails a shift in the balance between public and private authority across...
Article
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Despite emerging study of business initiatives that attempt to support local peace and development, we still have significant knowledge gaps on their effectiveness and efficiency. This article builds theory on business engagements for peace through exploration of the Footprints for Peace (FOP) peacebuilding project by the Federación Nacional de Caf...
Article
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to reconceptualize how managers of multinational enterprises (MNEs) manage risk, particularly in fragile and/or conflict-affected areas of operation. The authors suggest that MNEs consider reducing risk at its source rather than trying to avoid or react to risks as they occur. By incorporating peacebuilding str...
Article
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The conjunction of business and peace is a growing global phenomenon, but conducted and researched over a vast array of fields and contextual settings. This article provides theoretical order for this disparate material, illustrating cutting-edge research and highlighting the most urgent knowledge gaps to fill. Extracting findings from the business...
Article
Full-text available
India’s cities are projected to grow by 300 million people by 2050, but this demographic transition may exacerbate fragile communal and infrastructural tensions. To address these challenges, the ‘Smart Cities’ agenda attempts to leverage India’s rapid embrace of technology to generate societal positive developmental outcomes in urban areas that emp...
Book
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Engaging critically with the women, peace and security literature, Women, Peace and Security in Nepal questions the potential of peace processes to become a window of opportunity for women’s empowerment, while insisting on the vital importance of a gender perspective in the study of conflict, security and peace. After the signing of the 2006 Compre...
Article
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How can we foster more socially responsible pro-peace innovations that also have deeper impact? In arguing that incorporating contextual, area-specific and conflict-sensitive guidance enhances the quality and depth of innovation, this article calls for a new research approach on Peace Innovation (PI). This approach could help overcome four existing...
Article
Full-text available
The conjunction of business and peace is a growing global phenomenon, but conducted and researched over a vast array of fields and contextual settings. This article provides theoretical order for this disparate material, illustrating cutting-edge research and highlighting the most urgent knowledge gaps to fill. Extracting findings from the business...
Article
Full-text available
What factors explain attacks on humanitarian aid workers? Most research has tended to describe trends rather than analyse the underlying reasons behind attacks. To move this agenda forward, we present to our knowledge the first peer-reviewed cross-national time-series study that identifies factors related to violent attacks on humanitarian aid work...
Article
Full-text available
The literature on the relationship between the private sector, armed conflict, and peacebuilding has extensively analyzed how companies adapt to unstable contexts, what risks they face and how they are tackled, and the degree to which expected peace dividends serve as motivation for companies to engage in peacebuilding. However, while the importanc...
Article
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A consistent Indian demand in climate change negotiations is green technology transfer from the developed to the developing countries, and a longstanding principle is that of Common But Differentiated Responsibilities and Respective Capabilities. Across political affiliations, Indian policymakers agree that India needs to be better equipped to tack...
Article
The conjunction of business and peace is a growing global phenomenon, but conducted and researched over a vast array of fields and contextual settings. This article provides theoretical order for this disparate material, illustrating cutting-edge research and highlighting the most urgent knowledge gaps to fill. Extracting findings from the business...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Analysis of the Footprints of Peace (FOP) project by the Federación Nacional de Cafeteros in Colombia shows how business-led peacebuilding initiatives can improve local economic and societal development. The FOP case supports several existing business-peace claims, and sheds light upon three new business-peace research gaps. It also provides avenue...
Article
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Peace and conflict studies knowledge has dramatically expanded over the last 25 years. Scholars know much more about why conflicts start, and how they can be prevented. In parallel, innovation and technology actors have begun to engage with issues of peace and conflict. Yet cooperation between these actors is still relatively rare. We argue that th...
Article
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Long thought to be a rarefied calling for diplomats or dedicated activists, global peacebuilders are being pushed to accept a new player into their ranks: international business. Attempting to shed their post-Cold War reputations as conflict profiteers, transnational firms today from Shell and Starbucks to Chevron and Heineken are undertaking peace...
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Ahmedabad is often called an Indian ‘success story’ in terms of economic urbanization, but it is also a city highly segregated along religious and caste lines, and a flashpoint in the 2002 Hindu–Muslim riots that left thousands dead. Most of the Muslim communities relocated after the violence work in a vast informal sector around the city’s landfil...
Technical Report
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India’s urbanization story is both massive and complex, as 300 million people will move to its urban spaces by 2030, creating significant challenges. In this brief, we argue that India’s cities would be better served in the long-term by supporting the inclusive urban policies over those that carry exclusionary aftereffects, by limiting the use of t...
Article
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After the ‘CNN effect’ concept was coined two decades ago, it quickly became a popular shorthand to understand media-conflict interactions. Although the connection has probably always been more complex than what was captured in the concept, research needs to be updated in order to better understand the multifaceted contemporary environments of both...
Article
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India's landmark 2014 election brought Prime Minister Narendra Modi to power with a broad mandate to reshape the country's foreign policy. His sophistication in this realm has surprised many, but current Indian foreign policy is also influenced by both structural domestic factors that pre-date his term and new actors who seek to gain influence or e...
Article
Full-text available
Analysis of the Footprints of Peace (FOP) project by the Federacion Nacional de Cafeteros in Colombia shows how business-led peacebuilding initiatives can improve local economic and societal development. The FOP case supports several existing business-peace claims, and sheds light upon three new business-peace research gaps. It also provides avenue...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
There is an increasing demand for deploying humanitarian workers to conflict-affected areas. However, this need has expanded the risk of violent attacks against staff in insecure field settings. In this brief, we identify six country-level factors that can influence attacks on aid workers. These six factors help us to better understand the causes o...
Article
Authorities across India are shutting down mobile phone and Internet access to millions of people using antiquated riot laws — quelling free speech and even basic communication in a country that professes openness and digital access for all. http://foreignpolicy.com/2015/12/03/india-dangerous-digital-curfews_modi_censorship/
Conference Paper
Full-text available
What factors explain attacks on humanitarian aid workers? Most research has either tended to describe trends rather than analyse the reasons underlying attacks, or lacks the empirical evidence to support causal assertions. In moving this agenda forward, we present to our knowledge the first cross-national time-series study that identifies factors r...
Article
Full-text available
After the 'CNN Effect' concept was coined two decades ago, it quickly became a useful shorthand to understand media-conflict interactions. Although the connection has probably always been more complex than what was captured in this concept, current research even more so reflects the need to have updated mechanisms to better understand the complex c...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The new 'Business For Peace' (B4P) paradigm urges multinational corporations (MNCs) to enter conflict zones and fragile post-conflict environments as an alternative to traditional development aid. While B4P's positive impact through economic opening and Corporate Social Responsibility is assumed, corporate presence can instead exacerbate conflict d...
Article
Full-text available
The stunted and stumbling progress of the 'liberal peace' philosophy since 1990 tells a complex story. In this article, I give a history of the liberal peace project from its academic and activist origins to today's global application, discussing how policymakers and liberal peace architects see liberal peacebuilding, and how emerging powers such a...
Article
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The global shift from rural to urban living will be the most important demographic transformation of the 21st century. All great shifts create the opportunity for great fortunes, especially for those with audacious visions who are positioned to capitalize. Indian industrialist Ajit Gulabchand runs Hindustan Construction Company (HCC), which is resp...
Article
Full-text available
The new 'Business For Peace' (B4P) paradigm urges multinational corporations (MNCs) to enter conflict zones and fragile post-conflict environments as an alternative to traditional development aid. While B4P's positive impact through economic opening and Corporate Social Responsibility is assumed, corporate presence can instead exacerbate conflict d...
Article
Full-text available
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the international trade in conflict diamonds has become nearly impossible under the current Kimberley Process framework as new smuggling routes through India expose its structural weak-nesses. Thankfully, a simple and cost-effective solution is at hand: Mandating mine-to-market tracing for all newly mined diamonds.
Article
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Institutionalized corruption is pervasive in India. It requires individuals and businesses to negotiate bureaucratic mazes, pay off government servants, and break laws merely to acquire the basic elements of governance. With nearly half of India’s economic activity in the informal sector, ‘shadow economies’ permeate the lives of every citizen. What...
Book
India's explosive economic growth and emerging power status make it a key country of interest for policymakers, researchers and scholars within South Asia and around the world. But while many of India's threats and conflicts are strategized and discussed extensively within the confines of security studies, strategic studies and conventional interna...
Technical Report
Full-text available
More than fifty transboundary rivers feed into Bangladesh, effectively creating the world’s second largest riverine drainage basin, the Ganges-Brahmaputra-Meghna (GBM) basin. Since time immemorial, this river system has supported and maintained the agrarian societies of the basin. These societies are now faced with increasing riverine environmental...
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War, business, and democracy can intersect in complex ways. In India, mining companies operate throughout a warzone between the government and a Maoist insurgency. Mining companies promised that their activities would benefit local populations, but overreliance on the government to implement development initiatives eroded public faith. The Maoists...
Article
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India’s rapid economic growth over the last decade has been coupled with a Maoist insurgency that competes with the state for rural allegiance. In response to the threat, the Government of India has securitized development, using public works programmes in an attempt to sway locals away from Maoist allegiance. However, these areas are also home to...
Article
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Responding to recent critiques, foreign aid organisations are increasingly ‘going local’ in their operations in order to integrate local actors into their peace-building and aid projects. This is done under the belief that entering into partnerships directly with grassroots actors will increase local autonomy in joint ventures, thus empowering loca...
Article
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Federations promise to provide autonomous, representative governance that is flexible enough to overcome potential internal conflict resulting from the dual stresses of governing diverse populations and power overreach. India is the world's biggest federation but also hosts the most violent revolution in modern history against a federal state. Sinc...
Chapter
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This article traces the path of the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist ascent to power from the start of Nepal's 1996-2006 civil war to its end. In the pattern of several other movements inspired by the success of Mao’s 1948 take-over of the Chinese state, the Maoists of Nepal tactically fought their war in stages, consisting of creation, expansion, a...
Article
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The richest iron mine in India was guarded by 16 men, armed with Army-issued, self-loading rifles and dressed in camouflage fatigues. Only eight survived the night of Feb. 9, 2006, when a crack team of Maoist insurgents cut the power to the Bailadila mining complex and slipped out of the jungle cover in the moonlight. The guerrillas opened fire on...
Article
Full-text available
The richest iron mine in India was guarded by 16 men, armed with Army-issued, self-loading rifles and dressed in camouflage fatigues. Only eight survived the night of Feb. 9, 2006, when a crack team of Maoist insurgents cut the power to the Bailadila mining complex and slipped out of the jungle cover in the moonlight. The guerrillas opened fire on...
Article
Full-text available
Military counterinsurgencies can intensify wars by exacerbating the very violence and attacks upon civilian populations that they are meant to temper. In 2005, the state of Chhattisgarh, India responded to a long-simmering conflict against the Communist Party of India-Maoist (or Naxals) in this manner by secretly funding and arming a counterinsurge...
Article
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A tight-knit network of informal traders is exploiting a vacuum of law enforcement in southern Nepal to generate significant operating capital for the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT). The traders employ the same money laundering techniques as others in Nepal did a decade before, as the legal loopholes, lack of infrastructure, and wid...
Article
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U.S. foreign policy relationships toward states with which it assumes limited geostrategic significance are often simplistic in design and misguided in their calculations because of the disproportionate weight given to the limited information from which policy is synthesized. International media outlets exacerbate this problem by underreporting, im...
Article
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Nepal’s recent history has been fraught with civil violence. After a peace agreement was signed to end a 10-year civil war between the government of Nepal and the Communist Party of Nepal- Maoist in 2006, local and international observers were surprised to see new fighting erupt in southern Nepal, within a region known as the Terai. The violence, h...
Article
India's ineffective plans to solve internal conflicts are encouraging new feuds to becomejust as entrenched as the ones that have been unresolved since independence.

Projects

Projects (3)
Archived project
Led by Jason Miklian Sep 2014 - Jun 2017 The new 'Business for Peace' (B4P) paradigm promotes multinational corporations in conflict zones and fragile post-conflict environments as an alternative to traditional development aid, supported by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation. While B4P's positive impact through economic opening and Corporate Social Responsibility is assumed, emerging research suggests that corporate presence can instead exacerbate conflict dynamics in certain settings. It is essential to assess B4P's impact today, not only as B4P allocates substantial Norwegian (and international) funds to support corporate expansion into volatile environments, but because B4P is about to be standardized throughout all multilateral aid activities per the UN Global Compact B4P platform and the UN's 'Delivering As One' mandate. To understand how and where B4P can succeed, our core research question asks: how does international support of corporate activities in volatile environments influence political, economic, and social dynamics of peace and development? PRIO along with the Nordic Africa Institute (Sweden) will operationalize this question through two work packages: (1) investigating the business motivations and developmental logics underpinning the emergence of B4P; and (2) investigating the local impact of expanded corporate activities under B4P in volatile environments in four country cases: the DRC, South Sudan, Myanmar, and Somalia. Case research will be executed together with local partner institutions, complementing our team's previous field experiences with new situated knowledge. A third work package translates insights from (1) and (2) into an aggregate analysis and toolkit for forward application by policymakers, academics and engaged publics. A high-level reference group has been assembled from across academia, policymakers and the business community to encourage the production of findings that truly speak to engaged parties.
Archived project
Building on the earlier projects Human Security in India and Security in South Asia, ​India in the World ​ is a project under the decade-long institutional cooperation between the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses (IDSA) in Delhi and the Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO). The IDSA-PRIO cooperation has promoted joint research, networking and scholarly exchange. The objective of the cooperation is the development of new knowledge and expertise on topics of mutual academic interest, within the fields of conflict management, mediation, peacebuilding and non-traditional security. Main activities under the cooperation are organized in subprojects, currently covering research on Nuclear Governance, Climate Change and Common But Differentiated Responsibilities - Respective Capabilities (CBDR-RC), and Food Security and Globalization. The cooperation has also facilitated academic exchange with a focus on research methodology.