ノーベル平和賞の政治的背景

 多国間の友好、軍備の廃絶・削減、平和交渉の進行のいずれかに大きな貢献のあったとされる人物・団体に与えられるのがノーベル平和賞である。20世紀初頭には平和組織者が圧倒的に多かったが、2004年にケニヤの環境保護活動家が受賞してその流れは変わった。
画像 賞を支持している価値が「西洋のリベラルな国際主義のノルウェー版」にある。
 小さい国家はほとんど本能的に国際法を好み、彼らは最も貧しいものと最も弱いものに対する調停と人道的援助を信じている。
 ノーベルはスウェーデン生まれであるのに、平和賞はノルウェー議会が選出した委員からなる委員会が決めるが、それがなぜなのかはわからない。
 地球温暖化を防ごうとする努力は平和維持とリンクしている。地球の資源をめぐる競争のため、国内でも国家間でも暴力的な紛争や戦争の危険が増大している。賞の選択は政治的であり、まさにそれがポイントである。
 平和賞を授与することとははっきり言って政治的な行為である。
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The Politics Behind the Peace Prize
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/10/14/weekinreview/14basicB.html?_r=1&oref=login
By PATRICIA COHEN
Published: October 14, 2007

Alfred Nobel created the peace prize more than a century ago, but it is the Norwegian Nobel Committee that decides who gets it.
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Related
Sending a Message With the Peace Prize (October 13, 2002)

That is the simplest answer for those who may wonder precisely what the environmentalism of this year’s winners ― former Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change ― has to do with “peace.”

As technology has changed, so have the types of conflicts and threats to humanity, as has the interpretation of Nobel’s broad criteria for the peace prize. Those awarded would have “conferred the greatest benefit on mankind” by doing “the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding of peace congresses,” according to his 1895 will.

So while winners in the early decades of the 20th century were overwhelmingly peace organizers, such efforts have “gone out of style,” Ole Danbolt Mjos, the committee chairman, said after Wangari Maathai, a Kenyan environmentalist, was selected in 2004.

That prize was “our way of signaling a new criterion had been introduced,” he said. “It is about how we live together, share resources,” he added, “preserving the Earth.”

The committee is composed of five people, all selected by the Norwegian Parliament. Nobel, who was born in Sweden, offered no explanation for why Norway would control this prize and Sweden would award the others, but it’s worth noting that Sweden and Norway were joined in a union at the time.

In a history of the prize, Geir Lundestad, director of the Nobel Institute in Oslo since 1990, wrote that the values underpinning the prize are a “Norwegian version of Western liberal internationalism.”

“Small nations almost instinctively prefer international law for the might they do not possess,” he explained. Similarly, they believe in mediation and humanitarian aid to the poorest and weakest, he said.

It is this last concern that has become most evident in the second half of the 20th century, with prizes awarded to people like Norman Borlaug (1970), a father of the Green Revolution, and Mother Teresa (1979).

Although some critics have denigrated such choices as being irrelevant to peace, Francis Sejersted, chairman of the committee throughout the 1990s, justified them in a 2001 article, writing that Nobel envisioned a peace “rooted in people’s hearts and minds.” The humanitarian aid worker, he continued, is “the manifestation of respect” for an “individual’s human dignity.”

This year, the committee specifically linked efforts against global warming to keeping the peace: because of “greater competition for the earth’s resources,” it said, “there may be increased danger of violent conflicts and wars, within and between states.”

Recipients have sometimes been surrounded by an aura of saintliness and sometimes by cynicism, but in every case, the choice is political. And that, it seems, is the point. “Nobel wanted the prize to have political effects,” Mr. Sejersted wrote.

Mr. Mjos denied suggestions that this year’s winners were a repudiation of the Bush administration’s stance on global warming, saying “the Nobel committee has never given a kick in the leg to anyone,” but that is clearly not the way everyone sees it. After announcing Jimmy Carter as the recipient of the peace prize in 2002, the former Nobel committee chairman, Gunnar Berge, said it was “a kick in the leg” to President Bush for his Iraq policies.

As Mr. Sejersted said, “Awarding a peace prize is, to put it bluntly, a political act.”

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