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The Nobel Peace Prize is one of the five
Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate prizes that, according to Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, busines ...
s established by the will of Swedish industrialist, inventor and armaments (military weapons and equipment) manufacturer
Alfred Nobel Alfred Bernhard Nobel ( , ; 21 October 1833 – 10 December 1896) was a Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and philanthropist. He held 355 different patents NPOV disputes from March 2021 A patent is a title A title ...

Alfred Nobel
, along with the prizes in
Chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. T ...
,
Physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...
, Physiology or Medicine and
Literature Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantics, meaning among Subject (philosophy), entitie ...
. Since March 1901, it has been awarded annually (with some exceptions) to those who have "done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of
peace congress A peace congress, in international relations The field of international relations dates from the time of the Ancient Greece, Greek historian Thucydides. International relations (IR), international affairs (IA) or international studies (IS) ...
es". In accordance with Alfred Nobel's will, the recipient is selected by the
Norwegian Nobel Committee , logo = , size = , motto = , formation = , headquarters = Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a ...
, a five-member committee appointed by the
Parliament of Norway The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the Constitution of Norway. It is located in Oslo. The Unicameralism, unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four years based on p ...
. Since 2020 the prize is awarded in the Atrium of the
University of Oslo The University of Oslo ( no, Universitetet i Oslo; la, Universitas Osloensis) is a public university, public research university located in Oslo, Norway. It is the List of oldest universities in continuous operation#Europe, oldest university in ...
, where it was also awarded 1947–1989; the Abel Prize is also awarded in the building. The prize was previously awarded in
Oslo City Hall Oslo City Hall ( no, Oslo rådhus) is a municipal building in Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a Counties of Norway, coun ...
(1990–2019), the
Norwegian Nobel Institute The Norwegian Nobel Institute ( no, Det Norske Nobelinstitutt) is located in Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a Counties ...
(1905–1946), and the
Parliament In modern politics and history, a parliament is a legislative A legislature is an assembly Assembly may refer to: Organisations and meetings * Deliberative assembly A deliberative assembly is a gathering of members (of any kind of ...
(1901–1904). Due to its political nature, the Nobel Peace Prize has, for most of its history, been the
subject of numerous controversies
subject of numerous controversies
. The most recent prize for 2021 was awarded to
Maria Ressa Maria Angelita Ressa (, born October 2, 1963) is a Filipino-American journalist and author, the co-founder and CEO of Rappler, and the first Filipino Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelprisen ) are five separate pri ...

Maria Ressa
and Dmitry Muratov.


Background

According to Nobel's will, the Peace Prize shall be awarded to the person who in the preceding year "shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses". Alfred Nobel's will further specified that the prize be awarded by a committee of five people chosen by the Norwegian Parliament. Nobel died in 1896 and he did not leave an explanation for choosing
peace Peace is a concept of societal friendship and harmony in the absence of hostility Hostility is seen as form of emotionally charged aggressive behavior. In everyday speech it is more commonly used as a synonym A synonym is a word, morph ...

peace
as a prize category. As he was a trained chemical engineer, the categories for
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is an occurrence in the real world. T ...

chemistry
and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its Motion (physics), motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical scie ...

physics
were obvious choices. The reasoning behind the peace prize is less clear. According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, his friendship with
Bertha von Suttner
Bertha von Suttner
, a peace activist and later recipient of the prize, profoundly influenced his decision to include peace as a category. Some Nobel scholars suggest it was Nobel's way to compensate for developing destructive forces. His inventions included
dynamite Dynamite is an explosive made of nitroglycerin, sorbents (such as powdered shells or clay) and Stabilizer (chemistry), stabilizers. It was invented by the Swedish people, Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in Geesthacht, Northern Germany ...

dynamite
and
ballistite Ballistite is a smokeless propellant made from two high explosives, nitrocellulose and nitroglycerine. It was developed and patented by Alfred Nobel in the late 19th century. Military adoption Alfred Nobel patented Ballistite in 1887 while he was ...
, both of which were used violently during his lifetime. Ballistite was used in war and the
Irish Republican Brotherhood The Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB; ) was a secret oath-bound fraternal organisation dedicated to the establishment of an "independent democratic republic" in Ireland between 1858 and 1924.McGee, p. 15. Its counterpart in the United States ...
, an Irish nationalist organization, carried out dynamite attacks in the 1880s. Nobel was also instrumental in turning
Bofors Bofors AB ( , , ) is a Swedish and later British arms manufacturer The arms industry, also known as the arms trade, is a global industry classification, industry which manufacturing, manufactures and sells weapons and military technology, an ...
from an iron and steel producer into an armaments company. It is unclear why Nobel wished the Peace Prize to be administered in Norway, which was
ruled
ruled
in union with Sweden at the time of Nobel's death. The Norwegian Nobel Committee speculates that Nobel may have considered Norway better suited to awarding the prize, as it did not have the same militaristic traditions as
Sweden Sweden ( sv, Sverige ), officially the Kingdom of Sweden ( sv, links=no, Konungariket Sverige ), is a Nordic country The Nordic countries, or the Nordics, are a geographical and cultural region In geography, regions are areas that ...

Sweden
. It also notes that at the end of the 19th century, the
Norwegian parliament Storting ( no, Stortinget , "the great assembly") is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the Constitution of Norway. It is located in Oslo. The Unicameralism, unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four ...
had become closely involved in the
Inter-Parliamentary Union The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; french: Union Interparlementaire, UIP) is an international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability Accountability, in terms of ethics Ethic ...
's efforts to resolve conflicts through mediation and arbitration.


Nomination and selection

The
Norwegian Parliament Storting ( no, Stortinget , "the great assembly") is the supreme legislature of Norway, established in 1814 by the Constitution of Norway. It is located in Oslo. The Unicameralism, unicameral parliament has 169 members, and is elected every four ...

Norwegian Parliament
appoints the
Norwegian Nobel Committee , logo = , size = , motto = , formation = , headquarters = Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a ...
, which selects the Nobel Peace Prize laureate.


Nomination

Each year, the Norwegian Nobel Committee specifically invites qualified people to submit nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The statutes of the Nobel Foundation specify categories of individuals who are eligible to make nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. These nominators are: * Members of national assemblies and governments and members of the
Inter-Parliamentary Union The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; french: Union Interparlementaire, UIP) is an international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability Accountability, in terms of ethics Ethic ...
* Members of the
Permanent Court of Arbitration The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is an intergovernmental organization located in The Hague The Hague (; nl, Den Haag or ) is a List of cities in the Netherlands by province, city and Municipalities of the Netherlands, municipality ...
and the
International Court of Justice The International Court of Justice (ICJ; french: Cour internationale de justice, links=no; ), sometimes known as the World Court, is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmenta ...

International Court of Justice
at the Hague * Members of
Institut de Droit International The Institute of International Law ( French: Institut de Droit International) is an organization devoted to the study and development of international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set ...
* Academics at the professor or associate professor level in history,
social science Social science is the branch A branch ( or , ) or tree branch (sometimes referred to in botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist o ...

social science
s, philosophy, law, and theology, university rectors, university directors (or their equivalents), and directors of peace research and international affairs institutes * Previous recipients, including board members of organizations that have received the prize * Present and past members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee * Former permanent advisers to the
Norwegian Nobel Institute The Norwegian Nobel Institute ( no, Det Norske Nobelinstitutt) is located in Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a Counties ...
The working language of the Norwegian Nobel Committee is Norwegian; in addition to Norwegian the committee has traditionally received nominations in French, German and English, but today most nominations are submitted in either Norwegian or English. Nominations must usually be submitted to the committee by the beginning of February in the award year. Nominations by committee members can be submitted up to the date of the first Committee meeting after this deadline. In 2009, a record 205 nominations were received, but the record was broken again in 2010 with 237 nominations; in 2011, the record was broken once again with 241 nominations. The statutes of the Nobel Foundation do not allow information about nominations, considerations, or investigations relating to awarding the prize to be made public for at least 50 years after a prize has been awarded. Over time, many individuals have become known as "Nobel Peace Prize Nominees", but this designation has no official standing, and means only that one of the thousands of eligible nominators suggested the person's name for consideration. Indeed, in 1939,
Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (; 20 April 188930 April 1945) was an Austrian-born German politician who was the dictator of Nazi Germany, Germany from 1933 to 1945. Adolf Hitler's rise to power, He rose to power as the leader of the Nazi Party, becoming Cha ...

Adolf Hitler
received a satirical nomination from a member of the Swedish parliament, mocking the (serious but unsuccessful) nomination of
Neville Chamberlain Arthur Neville Chamberlain (; 18 March 18699 November 1940) was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party from 1937 to 1940. He is best known for his foreign policy of appeasement, and in particular for his sig ...

Neville Chamberlain
. Nominations from 1901 to 1967 have been released in a database.


Selection

Nominations are considered by the Nobel Committee at a meeting where a shortlist of candidates for further review is created. This shortlist is then considered by permanent advisers to the Nobel institute, which consists of the institute's Director and the Research Director and a small number of Norwegian academics with expertise in subject areas relating to the prize. Advisers usually have some months to complete reports, which are then considered by the committee to select the laureate. The Committee seeks to achieve a unanimous decision, but this is not always possible. The Nobel Committee typically comes to a conclusion in mid-September, but occasionally the final decision has not been made until the last meeting before the official announcement at the beginning of October.


Awarding the prize

The Chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee presents the Nobel Peace Prize in the presence of the
King of Norway The Norwegian monarch is the head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or t ...
and the on 10 December each year (the anniversary of Nobel's death). The Peace Prize is the only Nobel Prize not presented in
Stockholm Stockholm (; ) is the capital Capital most commonly refers to: * Capital letter Letter case (or just case) is the distinction between the letters that are in larger uppercase or capitals (or more formally ''majuscule'') and smalle ...

Stockholm
. The Nobel laureate receives a diploma, a medal, and a document confirming the prize amount. , the prize was worth 9 million SEK. In 2020 the ceremony returned to its former venue, the Atrium of the
University of Oslo Faculty of Law The Faculty of Law ( no, Det juridiske fakultet) of the University of Oslo is Norway's oldest law Faculty (division), faculty, established in 1811 as one of the four original faculties of The Royal Frederick University (renamed the Universit ...
, after being held in
Oslo City Hall Oslo City Hall ( no, Oslo rådhus) is a municipal building in Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a Counties of Norway, coun ...
during the period 1990–2019. From 1947 to 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony was held in the Atrium of the
University of Oslo Faculty of Law The Faculty of Law ( no, Det juridiske fakultet) of the University of Oslo is Norway's oldest law Faculty (division), faculty, established in 1811 as one of the four original faculties of The Royal Frederick University (renamed the Universit ...
, a few hundred meters from Oslo City Hall. Between 1905 and 1946, the ceremony took place at the
Norwegian Nobel Institute The Norwegian Nobel Institute ( no, Det Norske Nobelinstitutt) is located in Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a Counties ...
. From 1901 to 1904, the ceremony took place in the ''
Storting The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) is the supreme legislature of Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard ...
'' (Parliament).


Criticism

Some commentators have suggested that the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in politically motivated ways for more recent or immediate achievements, or with the intention of encouraging future achievements. Some commentators have suggested that to award a peace prize on the basis of the unquantifiable contemporary opinion is unjust or possibly erroneous, especially as many of the judges cannot themselves be said to be impartial observers. Further criticism holds that the Nobel Peace Prize has become increasingly politicized, in which people are awarded for aspiration rather than accomplishment, which has allowed for the prize to be used for political effect but can cause perverse consequences due to the neglect of existing power politics. In 2011, a feature story in the Norwegian newspaper ''
Aftenposten ''Aftenposten'' (; Norwegian language, Norwegian for "The Evening Post") is Norway's largest printed newspaper by circulation. It is based in Oslo. It had a circulation of 211,769 in 2015 (172,029 printed copies according to University of Bergen) a ...
'' contended that major criticisms of the award were that the
Norwegian Nobel Committee , logo = , size = , motto = , formation = , headquarters = Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a ...
ought to recruit members from professional and international backgrounds, rather than retired members of parliament; that there is too little openness about the criteria that the committee uses when they choose a recipient of the prize; and that the adherence to Nobel's will should be more strict. In the article, Norwegian historian Øivind Stenersen argues that Norway has been able to use the prize as an instrument for nation-building and furthering Norway's foreign policy and economic interests. In another 2011 ''Aftenposten'' opinion article, the grandson of one of Nobel's two brothers, Michael Nobel, also criticised what he believed to be the politicisation of the award, claiming that the Nobel Committee has not always acted in accordance with Nobel's will.


Criticism of individual conferments

Nobel Peace Prize controversies often reach beyond the academic community. Criticisms that have been leveled against some of the awards include allegations that they were politically motivated, premature, or guided by a faulty definition of what constitutes work for peace. The awards given to
Mikhail Gorbachev Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (born 2 March 1931) is a Russian and former Soviet politician, lawyer, and statesman. The List of leaders of the Soviet Union, eighth and final leader of the Soviet Union, he was the General Secretary of the ...

Mikhail Gorbachev
,
Yitzhak Rabin Yitzhak Rabin (; he, יִצְחָק רַבִּין, ; 1 March 1922 – 4 November 1995) was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office, 1974–77, and from 1992 until h ...

Yitzhak Rabin
,
Shimon Peres Shimon Peres (; he, שמעון פרס ; born Szymon Perski; 2 August 1923 – 28 September 2016) was an Israeli politician who served as the List of Presidents of Israel, ninth President of Israel from 2007 to 2014 and as the eighth Prime Minis ...

Shimon Peres
and
Yasser Arafat Mohammed Yasser Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf Arafat al-Qudwa al-Husseini ( , ; ar, محمد ياسر عبد الرحمن عبد الرؤوف عرفات القدوة الحسيني; 4 / 24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yass ...

Yasser Arafat
, Lê Đức Thọ,
Henry Kissinger Henry Alfred Kissinger (; ; born Heinz Alfred Kissinger; May 27, 1923) is a German-born American politician, diplomat, and Geopolitics, geopolitical consultant who served as United States Secretary of State and National Security Advisor (Unite ...

Henry Kissinger
,
Jimmy Carter James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician, businessman, and philanthropist who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Par ...

Jimmy Carter
,
Liu Xiaobo Liu Xiaobo ( , 28 December 1955 – 13 July 2017) was a Chinese writer, literary criticism, literary critic, human rights activist, philosopher and Nobel Peace Prize laureate who called for political reforms and was involved in campaigns to en ...
,
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician and attorney who served as the 44th president of the United States The president of the United States (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government ...

Barack Obama
, and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of member states that are located primarily in Europe Europe is a which is also recognised as part of , located entirely in the and mostly in the . It comprises the wester ...

European Union
have all been the subject of controversy.


Notable omissions

''
Foreign Policy ''Foreign Policy'' is an American news publication, founded in 1970 and focused on global affairs, current events, and domestic and international policy. It produces content daily on its website, and in six print issues annually. ''Foreign Poli ...
'' has listed
Mahatma Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; ; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist Quote: "... marks Gandhi as a hybrid cosmopolitan figure who transformed ... anti-colonial nationalist politics in the ...

Mahatma Gandhi
,
Eleanor Roosevelt Anna Eleanor Roosevelt (; October 11, 1884November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist. She served as the first lady of the United States The first lady of the United States (FLOTUS) is the title held by the ...
,
U Thant Thant (; ; January 22, 1909 – November 25, 1974), known honorifically as U Thant (), was a Burmese diplomat and the third secretary-general of the United Nations The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization that aims ...
,
Václav Havel Václav Havel (; 5 October 193618 December 2011) was a Czech statesman, playwright, and former dissident A dissident is a person who actively challenges an established Political system, political or Organized religion, religious system, doctrine, ...

Václav Havel
,
Ken Saro-Wiwa Kenule Beeson "Ken" Saro-Wiwa (10 October 1941 – 10 November 1995) was a Nigerian writer, television producer A television producer is a person who oversees one or more aspects of video production on a television program. Some producers t ...
,
Fazle Hasan Abed Sir Fazle Hasan Abed (27 April 1936 – 20 December 2019) was the founder of BRAC (NGO), BRAC, one of the world's largest non-governmental organizations. Sir Fazle was honored with numerous national and international awards for his contributi ...

Fazle Hasan Abed
and
Corazon Aquino Maria Corazon "Cory" Sumulong Cojuangco Aquino (, 25 January 1933 – 1 August 2009) was a Filipinos, Filipina politician who served as the List of presidents of the Philippines, 11th president of the Philippines from 1986 to 1992. She was t ...
as people who "never won the prize, but should have". The omission of
Mahatma Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; ; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948) was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist Quote: "... marks Gandhi as a hybrid cosmopolitan figure who transformed ... anti-colonial nationalist politics in the ...

Mahatma Gandhi
has been particularly widely discussed, including in public statements by various members of the Nobel Committee. The committee has confirmed that Gandhi was nominated in 1937, 1938, 1939, 1947, and, finally, a few days before his assassination in January 1948. The omission has been publicly regretted by later members of the Nobel Committee. , Secretary of Norwegian Nobel Committee in 2006 said, "The greatest omission in our 106-year history is undoubtedly that Mahatma Gandhi never received the Nobel Peace Prize. Gandhi could do without the Nobel Peace prize, whether Nobel committee can do without Gandhi is the question". In 1948, following Gandhi's death, the Nobel Committee declined to award a prize on the ground that "there was no suitable living candidate" that year. Later, when the
Dalai Lama , coatofarms = , coatofarms_article = , coatofarms_link = , incumbent = Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama The 14th Dalai Lama (spiritual name Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso, known as Tenzin Gyatso; born Lhamo Dhondup), ...

Dalai Lama
was awarded the Peace Prize in 1989, the chairman of the committee said that this was "in part a tribute to the memory of Mahatma Gandhi".


List of Nobel Peace Prize laureates

, the Peace Prize has been awarded to 107 individuals and 28 organizations. 17 women have won the Nobel Peace Prize, more than any other Nobel Prize. Only two recipients have won multiple Prizes: the
International Committee of the Red Cross The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC; french: Comité international de la Croix-Rouge) is a humanitarian organization An aid agency, also known as development charity, is an organization dedicated to distributing aid In int ...
has won three times (1917, 1944, and 1963) and the
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is a United Nations System, UN agency mandated to aid and protect refugees, Internally displaced person, forcibly displaced communities, and Statelessness, stateless people, and to assi ...
has won twice (1954 and 1981). Lê Đức Thọ is the only person who refused to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.


References


External links


"The Nobel Peace Prize"
– Official webpage of the
Norwegian Nobel Committee , logo = , size = , motto = , formation = , headquarters = Oslo Oslo ( , also , , rarely ) is the Capital city, capital and List of towns and cities in Norway, most populous city of Norway. It constitutes both a ...

"The Nobel Peace Prize"
at the official site of the Nobel Prize *

*
"The Nobel Prize Award Ceremonies"

World Summit of Nobel Peace Laureates
official site with information on annual summits beginning in 1999

– From (2010): ttps://web.archive.org/web/20140327012415/http://www.idsia.ch/~juergen/nobelshare.html Evolution of National Nobel Prize Shares in the 20th Centurya
arXiv:1009.2634v1

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Nobel Peace Prize
Civil Rights Digital Library
The Nobel Peace Prize Watch
the main project of The Lay Down your Arms Association {{Authority control *Peace Norwegian awards 1901 establishments in Norway Awards established in 1901 Peace awards