Nominations for the Prize may be made by a broad array of qualified individuals, including former recipients, members of national assemblies and congresses, university professors (in certain disciplines), international judges, and special advisors to the Prize Committee. In 2009, a record 205 nominations were received.
The Committee keeps the nominations secret and asks that nominators do the same. Over time many individuals have become known as "Nobel Peace Prize Nominees", but this designation has no official standing.
Nominations from 1901 to 1955, however, have been released in a database.
When the past nominations were released it was discovered that Adolf ******
was nominated in 1939 by Erik Brandt, a member of the Swedish Parliament. Brandt retracted the nomination after a few days.
Other infamous nominees included Joseph Stalin
and Benito Mussolini
. However, since nomination requires only support from one qualified person (e.g., a history professor), these unusual nominations do not represent the opinions of the Nobel committee itself.[citation needed
Unlike the other Nobel Prizes, which recognize completed scientific or literary accomplishment, the Nobel Peace Prize may be awarded to persons or organizations that are in the process of resolving a conflict or creating peace. As some such processes have failed to create lasting peace, some Peace Prizes appear questionable in hindsight.
For example, the awards given to Theodore Roosevelt
, Woodrow Wilson
, Shimon Peres
, Yitzhak Rabin
, Yasser Arafat
, Lê Ðức Thọ
, and Henry Kissinger
were particularly controversial and criticized; the Kissinger-Thọ award prompted two dissenting Committee members to resign.