With regard to the Peace Prize, the will of Alfred Nobel stipulated that it was to be awarded to the person "who 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". Over the course of time the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded in recognition of many different kinds of peace work and concepts of peace.

In the earliest years of the Peace Prize - up to World War I - the prize was often awarded to pioneers of the organized peace movement. In the inter-war years, the focus shifted to active politicians who sought to promote international peace, stability and justice by means of diplomacy and international agreements, but prizes were also awarded for humanitarian work (Nansen, the League of Nations High Commissioner for Refugees).

Since World War II, the Peace Prize has principally been awarded to honour efforts in four main areas: arms control and disarmament, peace negotiation, democracy and human rights, and work aimed at creating a better organized and more peaceful world. In the 21st century the Nobel Committee has embraced efforts to limit the harm done by man-made climate change and threats to the environment as relevant to the Peace Prize.

To read about the globalisation of the Nobel Peace Prize, follow this link. You may also find a list of women laureates on this website.