Peace prize for Amartya Sen: The wrong Signal

The choice of Amartya Sen for this year's peace prize of the German book trade is surprising. Not because of the Indian Economist and philosopher, would not co

Peace prize for Amartya Sen: The wrong Signal

The choice of Amartya Sen for this year's peace prize of the German book trade is surprising. Not because of the Indian Economist and philosopher, would not comply with what is defined in this award qua the articles of Association: its political component. Since Sens is unique. He is, in fact, the "pioneers, grappled for decades with issues of global justice and its Work to combat social inequality in terms of education and health are as relevant today as never before", as the Board of Trustees based its decision.

You may be surprised, however, that the peace prize went this year to America, to a writer who is engaged in the current debate about racism in the United States. But someone like, say, Colson Whitehead, which could only take recently his second Pulitzer prize, and currently like no other, as the literary voice of black America is, should be understood primarily as a writer, not as an activist, and so the peace prize is lost on him.

In the case of Sen, the 1933-born Nobel prize winner in Economics in the year 1988, is different. With him, once again, a life's work is honored off mainly days of political relevance. This is a characteristic of the recent decisions on this price. But three years after he went to the canadian Margaret Atwood, it would also have been once again time for a writer, so much so, the photographer Sebastiao Salgado (2019) and the culture of scientists-a married couple Aleida and Jan Assmann (2018) of the desired political component corresponded to. Here measured by the number of Excellent and, above all, of its carrier, the Börsenverein of the German book trade, the price of peace - first and foremost, a literature, even if the Statute expressly "science and art" are taken into account. And in this year, in which the book trade is suffering extremely under the Corona limitations, would have been a popular writer particularly welcome – symbolic as well as commercially.

Updated Date: 17 June 2020, 07:20

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