What Makes the Nobel Peace Prize Unique?



One measure of the success of the Nobel peace prize is the many other awards it has inspired for efforts promoting peace and nonviolent conflict resolution. However, none of these prizes enjoys the global fame and prestige associated with the Nobel prize. Its long history and regularity, the high cash award, the context of the other Nobel prizes, and the annual media events that the award announcement and ceremony have become all help to explain what is unique about this prize. Moreover, the Nobel peace prize is the most general award for peace available that is not limited to any particular kind of work, actor, or region. The decision-making body is independent, and not linked to any social grouping or ideology. While the only purpose of the Norwegian Nobel Committee is to award its peace prize, for virtually all other bodies that award peace prizes it is an instrument, among others, for the pursuit of the particular objectives of the founders. The pre-eminence of the Nobel peace prize is likely to persist.