2021 Nobel Peace Prize: Who Are the Top Contenders To Win and Why?

The Nobel Committee is set to announce the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, 8 October.

3 min read
2021 Nobel Peace Prize: Who Are the Top Contenders To Win and Why?

The World Health Organization (WHO), Hong Kong pro-democracy activists, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, the Black Lives Matter Movement, NATO, and Reporters Without Borders are among the 329 candidates nominated for this year's Nobel Peace Prize.

Out of the total number of nominees, 234 are individuals and 95 are organisations.

Slightly more than last year, which had 317 nominees, this year has seen the third highest number of candidates nominated for unarguably the world's most prestigious prize.

As we inch closer to finding out the winner for the coveted award, let's look at the top contenders among the long list of nominees and understand the nomination process itself.


Who are eligible to nominate candidates for the Nobel Peace Prize?

As per the will of Alfred Nobel, the Nobel Peace Prize 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."

Following are among the eligible nominators:

  • Professors, professors emeriti, and associate professors of political and social science, history, law, philosophy, theology

  • Members of national assemblies and government

  • Current heads of states

  • Members of International Court of Justice

  • Previous Nobel Peace Prize winners

  • Current and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee

  • Former advisers to the Norwegian Nobel Committee

  • Members of the Institute of International Law headquartered at Geneva, Switzerland

  • Directors of foreign policy institutes

Who can be nominated?

Any individual or organisation can be nominated by the eligible nominators. However, the Norwegian Nobel Committee acknowledges that being nominated does not imply any honour or affiliation with the Nobel Peace Prize or its affiliated institutions.

A self-nomination isn't considered by the committee.

Is there a public list of nominees?

There is no list of nominees. The disclosure of the information about the nominations – publicly and privately – is restricted under the statutes of the Nobel Foundation.

Information about the committee's nomination database is not made public until 50 years.

However, those nominating can choose to make it public in order to bring publicity for the nominee.

Quick Fact: Adolf Hitler was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 1939 by EGC Brandt, a member of the Swedish parliament. A fierce anti-fascist, Brandt meant it as a satiric criticism.

What does the selection process look like?

  • September: The Nobel committee prepares to receive nominations

  • February-March: Deadline for submissions; shortlist

  • March-August: Adviser review

  • October: After a majority review, Nobel Prize laureate is chosen

  • December: Nobel Prize award ceremony


Who was the Nobel Peace Prize winner in 2020?

The UN World Food Programme won the 2020 Nobel Peace Prize.

Who are the most popular 2021 nominees?

  • World Health Organization for its critical role during the coronavirus pandemic

  • Black Lives Matter movement for calling systemic changes around the world and for forcing nations to address racism in their own societies

  • Alexei Navalny for being the fiercest voice of human rights and democracy in Russia

  • US voting rights activist Stacey Abrams for boosting voter turnout

  • Greta Thunberg for her constant efforts in curbing climate change

  • Joe Biden for inheriting a country reeling under the COVID-19 pandemic

  • Jacinda Ardern for her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic

The winner will be announced on Friday, 8 October.

(With inputs from the official website of The Nobel Prize.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

Read and Breaking News at the Quint, browse for more from coronavirus and faq

Topics:  WHO   Climate Change   Jacinda Ardern 

Speaking truth to power requires allies like you.
Become a Quint Insider

or more


3 months
12 months
12 months
Check Insider Benefits
Stay Updated

Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.

Join over 120,000 subscribers!