Swedish astronomer, editor, political activist, and prime minister. Branting shared the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1921 with Norwegian pacifist and historian Christian Louis Lange for his lifelong commitment to constitutional pacifism and his role in international diplomacy.
Among his publications are Socialdemokatiens Arhundrade (1904–06), Den Politska Krisen: Dess Inebord, Uppkomst och Forsta Forlopp (1914), and Tal och Skrifter i Urval (1927–30).
Born in Stockholm, Sweden, Branting left school with a distinguished record in mathematics and Latin. He concentrated on maths and astronomy at the University of Uppsala, graduating with a baccalaureate in 1882. He became an astronomer at the Stockholm Observatory for two years before giving up his scientific career to become foreign editor of Tiden/The Times, a Radical Stockholm paper (1884–86), then chief editor of Socialdemokraten (1886–1917) which under his 31-year-editorship became a potent force in Swedish politics. He became known as the father of Swedish socialism and served in parliament from 1886, including three terms as prime minister (1920, 1921–23, 1924–25). His socialism was based on evolution, not revolution, and he believed that democracy was only possible with the active involvement of the workers.
Branting was devoted to the cause of Swedish neutrality and saw Sweden's role as arbitrator and conciliator in international disputes. He contributed to the international disarmament debate becoming directly involved in the settlement of the Greek–Italian conflict of 1923 and the British–Turkish dispute in 1924. He also helped to draft the Geneva Protocol for international security.