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The Commercial Determinants of Violence: Identifying Opportunities for Violence Prevention through a Public Health-Based Framework Analysis

Bellis, M. A., McManus, S. ORCID: 0000-0003-2711-0819, Hughes, K. , Adisa, O. & Ford, K. (2024). The Commercial Determinants of Violence: Identifying Opportunities for Violence Prevention through a Public Health-Based Framework Analysis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(3), article number 352. doi: 10.3390/ijerph21030352


Violence has immediate and long-term repercussions for the health of individuals and communities. Recent increases in the understanding of public health approaches to violence prevention have focused on the policies and practices of government, health, and other public sector agencies. However, the roles of commercial bodies in fostering and preventing violence remain largely unaddressed. The wealth and influence of some companies now exceeds that of many countries. Consequently, it is timely to explore the roles of commercial processes in violence. Using a conceptual framework for the commercial determinants of health, we examine seven practices: political; scientific; marketing; supply chain and waste; labor and employment; financial; and reputational management. We include areas directly linked with violence (e.g., firearms) and those that indirectly impact violence through the following: design and promotion of products; employment practices; and impacts on environment, poverty, and local resources. A range of avoidable commercial behaviors are found to increase levels of violence including the following: lobbying practices; distortion of scientific processes; polluting manufacture and supply lines; poor employee protections; financial investment in organizations and regimes associated with violence; and misleading communications and marketing. We conclude commercial actors can take action to ensure their workers, clients, suppliers, and distributors help prevent, not promote, violence. New technologies such as artificial intelligence are transforming corporate processes and products and offer opportunities to implement violence prevention through commercial developments (e.g., monitoring online content). International regulation of commercial behaviors is needed to prevent interpersonal and interstate conflict and harms to health and trade.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2024 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Publisher Keywords: commercial determinants; violence; marketing; employment; firearms; alcohol; pollution; climate
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Policy & Global Affairs
School of Policy & Global Affairs > Violence and Society Centre
SWORD Depositor:
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