Joseph Stiglitz wins 2018 Sydney Peace Prize

Professor Joseph Stiglitz, Nobel Prize winning Economist, will receive the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize on Thursday 15 November at Sydney Town Hall. As a prolific academic at world-leading universities and as an influential advocate in the policy world, Stiglitz has galvanised and shaped global debates on inequality and economic fairness over the last three decades.

He has authored international best-sellers such as Globalization and Its Discontents (2002), The Price of Inequality: How Today’s Divided Society Endangers Our Future (2012) and The Great Divide: Unequal Societies and What We Can Do About Them (2015). He has also held positions such as economic adviser to the Clinton administration and Chief Economist at the World Bank.

Joseph Stiglitz:“For leading a global conversation about the crisis caused by economic inequality, for exposing the violence inflicted by market fundamentalism, and for championing just solutions to the defining challenge of our time: How can we break the cycle of power and greed to enable all peoples and the planet to flourish?”

The Sydney Peace Prize is Australia’s international prize for peace, awarded by the Sydney Peace Foundation at the University of Sydney. The Prize recognises leading global voices that promote peace, justice and nonviolence. Laureates include Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Mary Robinson, Noam Chomsky, Patrick Dodson, Naomi Klein, and the Black Lives Matter Global Network.

“It is a tremendous honour to receive this recognition”, Professor Stiglitz said. “It comes at a time not only when there is growing recognition of the magnitude of the crisis in capitalism and democracy caused by the Great Divide in our societies, but the political and economic consequences are being felt worldwide. We cannot have durable peace without social and economic justice, and our political and economic system today is failing to create a world with such justice.”

The 2018 Sydney Peace Prize Jury observed that a broken economic system is concentrating more wealth in the hands of the rich and powerful, fuelling an inequality crisis that leaves ordinary people struggling to scrape by, both in developing nations where people face extreme poverty and in developed countries such as Australia.

Archie Law, Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, said “We Australians cherish our belief in a fair go for everyone, but unless our government keeps powerful corporate interests in check and ensures our economy works to favour the 99%, people will hurt – and we know this can lead to division, fear and feelings of powerlessness.

The Jury commended Professor Stiglitz for dedicating his life’s work to challenging conventional economics in the pursuit of global social justice, and for speaking truth to power whilst proposing achievable solutions. “Professor Stiglitz reminds us all that inequality is not inevitable – it is created, and our governments can act decisively to end the inequality crisis if they choose to do so”, Archie Law said.

Stiglitz said: “Another world is possible – one marked by greater equality, more democratic participation, and stronger and more sustainable growth. We know the economic and social policies with which we can attain this better world. The challenge today is our politics.”

Professor Noam Chomsky, 2012 Sydney Peace Prize recipient, applauded the 2018 Jury’s choice:“I am very pleased to learn that the Peace Prize will be awarded to the outstanding economist Joseph Stiglitz, whose insightful critical analysis of prevailing economic systems and doctrines has not only greatly contributed to our understanding of the contemporary world but has also provided powerful intellectual tools for creating a more just and peaceful global society.”

For over two decades, the Sydney Peace Prize has been awarded in partnership with the City of Sydney. Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said Professor Joseph Stiglitz’s significant contribution to public debate had made him a worthy recipient of the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize.“I applaud Professor Joseph Stiglitz’s commitment – his advocacy for economic justice for all people and protection of the environment are essential for the future of society,” the Lord Mayor said.

Professor Joseph Stiglitz’s Sydney Peace Prize is supported by 2018 impact partners Oxfam Australia and The Australia Institute.

Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Helen Szoke said “We can turn the tide on the growing inequality that is trapping people in poverty and breaking down social cohesion around the world. The work of Joseph Stiglitz has been instrumental in helping to show us how – Oxfam Australia is honoured to partner with the Sydney Peace Foundation to recognise his contribution.”

Australia Institute Executive Director Ben Oquist said: “Joseph Stiglitz’s work exposes the truth that inequality is a choice, when so often the political and economic debate exists to hide those choices from the public. The Australia Institute is privileged to partner with the Sydney Peace Foundation to recognise his extraordinary work that shows us how the rules of the game can be changed to reverse inequality.”