Marketing as a Means to Transformative Social Conflict Resolution: Lessons from Transitioning War Economies and the Colombian Coffee Marketing System

Abstract
Social conflicts are ubiquitous to the human condition and occur throughout markets, marketing processes, and marketing systems. When unchecked or unmitigated, social conflict can have devastating consequences for consumers, marketers, and societies, especially when conflict escalates to war. In this article, the authors offer a systemic analysis of the Colombian war economy, with its conflicted shadow and coping markets, to show how a growing network of fair-trade coffee actors has played a key role in transitioning the country㤼㸲s war economy into a peace economy. They particularly draw attention to the sources of conflict in this market and highlight four transition mechanisms㤼㸷empowerment, communication, community building, and regulation㤼㸷through which marketers can contribute to peacemaking and thus produce mutually beneficial outcomes for consumers and society. The article concludes with a discussion of implications for marketing theory, practice, and public policy.

Keywords: Colombia, peace/war economy, social conflict, systemic analysis, transformation

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