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This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Winners Are Radicals—and That’s a Good Thing

This Year’s Nobel Peace Prize Winners Are Radicals—and That’s a Good Thing

It has been suggested that the recipients of this year’s Nobel Peace Prize are “safe choices” because they advocate for the rights of children and for the fair and respectful treatment of girls and women.

Fair enough.

Advocacy for an end to child labor, for universal education, for strong trade unions, for economic justice and social democracy, and for an end to war and violence should not be controversial.

But it should be noted that this year’s recipients of the world’s most prestigious prize—India’s Kailash Satyarthi and Pakistan’s Malala Yousafzai—are not mild reformers. They are both bold, challenging and, yes, radical, in their language and their approaches….

Kailash Satyarthi and Malala Yousafzai are engaged activists who have not hesitated to challenge the most powerful political and economic elites in their own countries—and to challenge international leaders….

John Nichols

About the author

JoAnn Chateau

JoAnn Chateau likes progressive politics and loves the canines. She sometimes writes fiction about Chester (the Alpha Bichon) and his friends -- with a dash of humor and dab of Poli-Sci. JoAnn's views and insights are tinted by her past profession in Counseling, Christian theological studies, and Library and Information Science training. Retired now, JoAnn enjoys the creative life.


  • That’s true, but I don’t see how Kailash and Malala work for the reduction of wars and armies in the world, that should be the idea behind the Nobel Peace Prize, I think. This prize is drifting from size to size.
    Of course is better when someone like these activists get it, and they deserve international recognition. But the Nobel Peace Prize is so discredited, with Obama for example, that does no matter much who receives it.

    • You are insightful. I guess, as high-risk-taking grassroots activists, their righteous movements may eventually ‘trickle up’ to the powers of war. They have certainly made people more aware of the costs of change, and will have inspired others to take action.

      Hopefully, this is a sign the Nobel Peace Prize people are getting back on track. (They must be gnashing their teeth over Obama’s Prize, what with drones, and now, the current anti-terrorist war in Syria.)

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