Nobel Peace Prize
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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#Nobel Prize, Alfred Nobel's will of 1895, are awarded to "those who, during the preceding year, have conferred the greatest ben ...
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 Swedes, Swedish chemist, engineer, inventor, businessman, and Philanthropy, philanthropist. He is best known for having bequeathed his fortune to establish the Nobel ...
, along with the prizes in
Chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
,
Physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
,
Physiology or Medicine The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine is awarded yearly by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institute for outstanding discoveries in physiology or medicine. The Nobel Prize The Nobel Prizes ( ; sv, Nobelpriset ; no, Nobelpris ...
and
Literature Literature is any collection of Writing, written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama, and poetry. In recent centuries, the definition has expanded to ...
. 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 congresses". In accordance with Alfred Nobel's will, the recipient is selected by the
Norwegian Nobel Committee The Norwegian Nobel Committee ( no, Den norske Nobelkomité) selects the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize each year on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's Estate (law), estate, based on instructions of Nobel's Will (law), will. Five ...
, a five-member committee appointed by the
Parliament of Norway The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) (lit. the Great Thing (assembly), Thing) 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 ...
. 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 highest ranked and List of oldest universities in continuous operation#Europe, ...
, where it was also awarded 1947–1989; the
Abel Prize The Abel Prize ( ; no, Abelprisen ) is awarded annually by the King of Norway to one or more outstanding mathematicians. It is named after the Norwegian mathematician Niels Henrik Abel (1802–1829) and directly modeled after the Nobel Prizes. ...
is also awarded in the building. The prize was previously awarded in
Oslo City Hall Oslo City Hall ( no, Oslo rådhus) is a municipality, municipal building in Oslo, the capital of Norway. It houses the city council, the city's administration and various other municipal organisations. The building as it stands today was constr ...
(1990–2019), the
Norwegian Nobel Institute The Norwegian Nobel Institute ( no, Det Norske Nobelinstitutt) is located in Oslo, Norway. The institute is located at Henrik Ibsen Street 51 in the center of the city. It is situated just by the side of the Royal Palace, Oslo, Royal Palace. Hi ...
(1905–1946), and the
Parliament In modern politics, and history, a parliament is a legislative body of government. Generally, a modern parliament has three functions: Representation (politics), representing the Election#Suffrage, electorate, making laws, and overseeing ...
(1901–1904). Due to its political nature, the Nobel Peace Prize has, for most of its history, been the subject of numerous controversies. The most recent prize for 2022 was awarded to human rights advocate Ales Bialiatski from Belarus, the Russian human rights organisation
Memorial A memorial is an object or place which serves as a focus for the memory or the commemoration of something, usually an influential, deceased person or a historical, Tragedy (event), tragic event. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objec ...
and the Ukrainian human rights organisation Centre for Civil Liberties.


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 and violence. In a social sense, peace is commonly used to mean a lack of conflict (such as war) and freedom from fear of violence between individuals or groups. ...
as a prize category. As he was a trained chemical engineer, the categories for
chemistry Chemistry is the scientific study of the properties and behavior of matter. It is a natural science that covers the elements that make up matter to the compounds made of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties ...
and
physics Physics is the natural science that studies matter, its Elementary particle, fundamental constituents, its motion and behavior through Spacetime, space and time, and the related entities of energy and force. "Physical science is that depar ...
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 Sophie Felicitas Freifrau von Suttner (; ; 9 June 184321 June 1914) was an Austrian-Bohemian Pacifism, pacifist and novelist. In 1905, she became the second female Nobel laureate (after Marie Curie in 1903), the first woman to be awarded ...
, 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 Germa ...
and
ballistite Ballistite is a smokeless powder, 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 https://www.n ...
, 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 society, 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 ...
, an Irish nationalist organization, carried out dynamite attacks in the 1880s. Nobel was also instrumental in turning
Bofors AB Bofors ( , , ) is a former Swedish arms manufacturer which today is part of the British arms concern BAE Systems BAE Systems plc (BAE) is a British Multinational corporation, multinational arms industry, arms, Information securit ...
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 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, formally the Kingdom of Sweden,The United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names states that the country's formal name is the Kingdom of SwedenUNGEGN World Geographical Names, Sweden./ref> is a Nordic countries, Nordic c ...
. It also notes that at the end of the 19th century, the
Norwegian parliament The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) (lit. the Great Thing (assembly), Thing) 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 ...
had become closely involved in the
Inter-Parliamentary Union The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU; french: Union Interparlementaire, UIP) is an inter-parliamentary institution, international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability, and coop ...
's efforts to resolve conflicts through mediation and arbitration.


Nomination and selection

The
Norwegian Parliament The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) (lit. the Great Thing (assembly), Thing) 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 ...
appoints the
Norwegian Nobel Committee The Norwegian Nobel Committee ( no, Den norske Nobelkomité) selects the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize each year on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's Estate (law), estate, based on instructions of Nobel's Will (law), will. Five ...
, 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 inter-parliamentary institution, international organization of national parliaments. Its primary purpose is to promote democratic governance, accountability, and coop ...
* Members of the
Permanent Court of Arbitration The Permanent Court of Arbitration (PCA) is a non-UN intergovernmental organization located in The Hague, Netherlands. Unlike a judicial court in the traditional sense, the PCA provides services of arbitral tribunal to resolve disputes that arise ...
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 United Nations System#Six principal organs, six principal organs of the United Nations (UN). It s ...
at the Hague * Members of
Institut de Droit International The Institute of International Law (French language, French: Institut de Droit International) is an organization devoted to the study and development of international law, whose membership comprises the world's leading public international lawyer ...
* Academics at the professor or associate professor level in history,
social science Social science is one of the branches of science, devoted to the study of society, societies and the Social relation, relationships among individuals within those societies. The term was formerly used to refer to the field of sociology, the o ...
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, Norway. The institute is located at Henrik Ibsen Street 51 in the center of the city. It is situated just by the side of the Royal Palace, Oslo, Royal Palace. Hi ...
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 dictator of Germany Germany,, officially the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central Europe. It is the second most populo ...
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 a British politician of the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Party who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from May 1937 to May 1940. He is best known for his for ...
. 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 of Norway, which is a constitutional monarchy, constitutional and hereditary monarchy with a parliamentary system. The Norwegian monarchy can trace its line back to the reign of Harald Fairhair and th ...
and the Norwegian royal family 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 city, capital and List of urban areas in Sweden by population, largest city of Sweden as well as the List of urban areas in the Nordic countries, largest urban area in Scandinavia. Approximately 980,000 people liv ...
. The Nobel laureate receives a diploma, a medal, and a document confirming the prize amount. , the prize was worth 9 million SEK. Since 1990, the ceremony has taken place at
Oslo City Hall Oslo City Hall ( no, Oslo rådhus) is a municipality, municipal building in Oslo, the capital of Norway. It houses the city council, the city's administration and various other municipal organisations. The building as it stands today was constr ...
. From 1947 to 1989, the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony was held in the Atrium of the University of Oslo Faculty of Law, 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, Norway. The institute is located at Henrik Ibsen Street 51 in the center of the city. It is situated just by the side of the Royal Palace, Oslo, Royal Palace. Hi ...
. From 1901 to 1904, the ceremony took place in the ''
Storting The Storting ( no, Stortinget ) (lit. the Great Thing (assembly), Thing) 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 ...
'' (Parliament).


Laureates

, the Peace Prize has been awarded to 110 individuals and 27 organizations. 18 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 aid agency, humanitarian organization which is based in Geneva, Switzerland, and it is also a three-time Nobel Prize Laureate. State parti ...
has won three times (1917, 1944, and 1963) and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has won twice (1954 and 1981). Lê Đức Thọ is the only person who refused to accept the Nobel Peace Prize.


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 ( in the masthead; ; Norwegian language, Norwegian for "The Evening Post") is Norway's largest printed newspaper by circulation. It is based in Oslo. It sold 211,769 copies in 2015 (172,029 printed copies according to University of Bergen) and e ...
'' contended that major criticisms of the award were that the
Norwegian Nobel Committee The Norwegian Nobel Committee ( no, Den norske Nobelkomité) selects the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize each year on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's Estate (law), estate, based on instructions of Nobel's Will (law), will. Five ...
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 (2 March 1931 – 30 August 2022) was a Soviet politician who served as the 8th and final leader of the Soviet Union from 1985 to dissolution of the Soviet Union, the country's dissolution in 1991. He served a ...
,
Yitzhak Rabin Yitzhak Rabin (; he, יִצְחָק רַבִּין, ; 1 March 1922 – 4 November 1995) was an Israeli politician, statesman and general. He was the fifth List of Prime Ministers of Israel, Prime Minister of Israel, serving two terms in office ...
,
Shimon Peres Shimon Peres (; he, שמעון פרס ; born Szymon Perski; 2 August 1923 – 28 September 2016) was an Israeli politician who served as the eighth prime minister of Israel from 1984 to 1986 and from 1995 to 1996 and as the List of Presidents ...
and
Yasser Arafat Mohammed Abdel Rahman Abdel Raouf al-Qudwa al-Husseini (4 / 24 August 1929 – 11 November 2004), popularly known as Yasser Arafat ( , ; ar, محمد ياسر عبد الرحمن عبد الرؤوف عرفات القدوة الحسيني, Mu ...
, 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 (Unit ...
,
Jimmy Carter James Earl Carter Jr. (born October 1, 1924) is an American politician who served as the 39th president of the United States from 1977 to 1981. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, he previously served as th ...
,
Barack Obama Barack Hussein Obama II ( ; born August 4, 1961) is an American politician who served as the 44th president of the United States from 2009 to 2017. A member of the Democratic Party (United States), Democratic Party, Obama was the first Af ...
,
Abiy Ahmed Abiy Ahmed Ali ( om, Abiyi Ahmed Alii; am, አብይ አሕመድ ዐሊ; born 15 August 1976) is an Ethiopian politician who has been the 4th Prime Minister of Ethiopia, prime minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia since 2 A ...
, and the
European Union The European Union (EU) is a supranational union, supranational political union, political and economic union of Member state of the European Union, member states that are located primarily in Europe, Europe. The union has a total area of ...
have all been the subject of controversy.


Notable omissions

''
Foreign Policy A State (polity), state's foreign policy or external policy (as opposed to internal or domestic policy) is its objectives and activities in relation to its interactions with other states, unions, and other political entities, whether bilaterall ...
'' has listed
Mahatma Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; ; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948), popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist Quote: "... marks Gandhi as a hybrid cosmopolitan figure who transformed ... anti- ...
,
Eleanor Roosevelt Anna Eleanor Roosevelt () (October 11, 1884November 7, 1962) was an American political figure, diplomat, and activist. She was the first lady of the United States from 1933 to 1945, during her husband President Franklin D. Roosevelt's four t ...
, U Thant,
Václav Havel Václav Havel (; 5 October 193618 December 2011) was a Czech statesman A statesman or stateswoman typically is a politician who has had a long and respected political career at the national or international level. Statesman or Statesmen may ...
, Ken Saro-Wiwa, Fazle Hasan Abed and
Corazon Aquino Maria Corazon "Cory" Sumulong Cojuangco-Aquino (; ; January 25, 1933 – August 1, 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 w ...
as people who "never won the prize, but should have". The omission of
Mahatma Gandhi Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (; ; 2 October 1869 – 30 January 1948), popularly known as Mahatma Gandhi, was an Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist Quote: "... marks Gandhi as a hybrid cosmopolitan figure who transformed ... anti- ...
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. Geir Lundestad, 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 Dalai Lama (, ; ) is a title given by the Tibetan people to the foremost spiritual leader of the Gelug or "Yellow Hat" school of Tibetan Buddhism, the newest and most dominant of the four major schools of Tibetan Buddhism. The 14th and current Dal ...
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".


References


External links


"The Nobel Peace Prize"
– Official webpage of the
Norwegian Nobel Committee The Norwegian Nobel Committee ( no, Den norske Nobelkomité) selects the recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize each year on behalf of Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel's Estate (law), estate, based on instructions of Nobel's Will (law), will. Five ...

"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 J. Schmidhuber (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