The Nobel Peace Price, a strange mixture

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.”[3]

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 as a prize category. As he was a trained chemical engineer, the categories for chemistry and 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, a peace activist and later recipient of the prize, profoundly influenced his decision to include peace as a category.[4] Some Nobel scholars suggest it was Nobel’s way to compensate for developing destructive forces. His inventions included dynamite and ballistite, both of which were used violently during his lifetime. Ballistite was used in war[5] and the Irish Republican Brotherhood, an Irish nationalist organization, carried out dynamite attacks in the 1880s.[6] Nobel was also instrumental in turning Bofors from an iron and steel producer into an armaments company.

Alfred Nobel

The paradox is that the man who invented the weapon of war, dynamite and explosives is the man who funded the peace prize.

 People who have won include: The awards given to Mikhail Gorbachev,[24] Yitzhak Rabin, Shimon Peres, Menachem Begin and Yasser Arafat,[25][26] Lê Đức Thọ, Henry Kissinger,[27] Jimmy Carter,[28] Al Gore,[29] IPCC,[30] Liu Xiaobo,[31][32][33] Barack Obama,[34][35][36][37] and the European Union[38] have all been the subject of controversy.

Foreign Policy has listed Mahatma Gandhi, Eleanor Roosevelt, U Thant never got the peace prize.

Questions abound.  Why are some people on the list and others not?

Here is the current list of who decides:


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