The sustainability of cross-border peacebuilding initiatives is increasingly pertinent in a context of reduced public funding (national and European), yet the potential contribution to be made to this from private sector cooperation remains under-explored. This paper brings together quantitative data on cross-border trade with qualitative evidence from business leaders in the Irish border region in order to examine the nature of cross-border cooperation within the private sector and its possible connections to peacebuilding. This evidence is analysed in the light of three theses: spillover, contact and business-based peacebuilding. The first part of this paper assesses the conditions for cross-border business cooperation in Ireland, including funding support for economic development, European integration, and (post-Agreement) institutional change. The second part examines the particular contributions made by the private sector to peace, centring upon consciously non-political motivations (such as pragmatism and profit), networking and leadership.
- 1998 Agreement, business, cross-border, economic development, peacebuilding, private sector