Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Peace Prize hypothetical

For reasons I won't go into now, I've been doing some thinking about the 1962 Peace Prize recently, but something else dawned on me: should Keynes have won a Nobel Peace Prize, and was he ever in the running for one?

It's obvious why he didn't win an economics prize - he didn't live long enough. If he had lived longer, I think it's a foregone conclusion that he would have. But he was also a strong contender for a Peace Prize. 1919, 1920, 1921, 1925, 1926, and 1927 were all awarded for pulling Europe together after the war. There weren't any awards for Peace in 1923 or 1924. Keynes of course also helped put the world back on track after the second world war, and the 1944, 1945, and 1953 awards were all related to establishing a peaceful post-war order then.

Keynes's work on the Treaty, on shaping public opinion, on working with Germany after the war, and the alleviation of the depression, and on establishing a new order after the second world war all seem to make him a strong contender for the Peace Prize in his lifetime, even though he never had a chance at the Economics Prize.

Does anyone know if this was ever even discussed?

UPDATE: From the comments, he was nominated.


  1. This took like ten seconds:

    Yes, Keynes was nominated.

    Google is your friend.

  2. Thanks.

    Why google when I can crowdsource?

    If anyone has details on the discussion of the nomination and insights into why he didn't get one, I'd be interested in hearing about it.

  3. Keynes was nominated by the Germans in the early 1920s. If the prize had been awarded it would have been deeply insulting to the Americans and French and made many others, such as the British, look stupid. So unless the committee was pro-German and very brave, Keynes didn't stand much chance.

  4. There was a really serious threat to the ownership structure in Sweden during the 1970s, in effect, there was a proposal to buy out ownership entirely and turn it into a sort of worker-owned democracy. The political elites in Sweden were horrified by this and fought a tremendous battle against it. The way they fought was partly, again, through ideological mechanisms. The bankers controlled the Nobel Prize in economics, that went to Hayek, went to Friedman, that went to all the neoliberal figures to try to give legitimacy to all the neoliberal arguments.


  5. I think Kuehn should be given the peace prize for instigating a war against Iran. When the people whose lives he has ruined, traumatized, and maimed retaliate, he'll know what it's like for him and his whole family to be cluster bombed, raped, suffocated and.... well I think you get the picture. Poetic justice is just an alternate reality away.


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