DPI held its first activity of 2019 on 8-10th January. Entitled ‘Peace and the Economy’, this roundtable meeting was organised in cooperation with the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) Institute of Global Affairs and was attended by a small diverse group of Turkey’s prominent business people and organisations, including company CEO’s and heads of business associations. Following on from a 2017 comparative study visit to Northern Ireland on this topic, the meeting, provided participants with an opportunity to discuss the links between peace, stability and economic growth and what role the private sector can play in conflict resolution processes. The event began with a warm welcome from Kerim Yildiz, DPI’s CEO, Erik Berglof, Director of LSE’s Institute of Global Affairs and Nick Stewart, Chairman of DPI. An introductory session with LSE’s Mary Martin (Senior Research Fellow, LSE Ideas) and Vesna Bojicic-Dzelilovic (Senior Research Fellow Department of International Relations), focused on modern ways in which the private sector can be positively engaged in conflict resolution. Dan O’Brien, Chief Economist at the Institute of International and European Affairs, then provided an insightful examination of what connections that can be drawn between peace, stability and economic growth using data from country case studies around the world. The discussion went on to focus on the Northern Ireland case with Dermot Ahern, former Irish Minister of Foreign Affairs, sharing his first-hand experiences of the Northern Ireland peace process and the economic impacts brought about by the resolution of The Troubles. The final session saw Dr Esmond Birnie, Senior Economist at the Centre for Economic Policy at Ulster University analyse the links drawn between political stability and the economy from the Northern Ireland example and highlight the lessons that can be learnt from this resolution process. Participants engaged in fruitful discussion over the course of the event which culminated with an evaluation session.
This roundtable was part of a series of activities planned in the context of the project: ‘Supporting inclusive dialogue at a challenging time in Turkey’, supported by the EU and the Irish, Dutch and Norwegian governments