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Saturday, October 10, 2009


Yesterday, at Duck of Minerva, I blogged "Peace Prize" about Barack Obama winning the Nobel award. I noted my surprise since nearly all of his many peace and disarmament initiatives remain in the discussion or implementation stages. At this point, I argued, he has generated far more hope than change and the gap between them is wide.

As I thought more about it through the day, and talked to friends and colleagues, I became convinced that the Nobel committee decided to reward certain norms of behavior and process that they must think promote peace. Obama the Non-Bush has obviously changed the way the US behaves in world politics and altered the image of the US.

As a Habermasian, I can certainly appreciate the decision to reward procedural norms. However, it still feels like a form of recognition that could have waited another year or two. Most Bush critics hoped for new results as well as new processes.

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