An Idea Whose Time Has Not Come

Among those nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize is a rather unlikely figure: Vladimir Putin. Seriously.

Now getting nominated is not necessarily a big distinction, as Reuters reports:

A record 278 candidates, including 47 organizations, received nominations for the 2014 prize, said the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s director, Geir Lundestad.

Committee members who met on Tuesday added their own proposals with a focus on recent turmoil around the globe


“Part of the purpose of the committee’s first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots,” Lundestad said.

I’m guessing Putin won’t make that cut. But there’s a pretty wide range of possibilities:

Pope Francis and former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden also received nominations as well as Putin.

Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls’ right to education, is also thought to be among the candidates, as are several Russian dissidents who have spoken out for human rights.

Conflicts between protesters and the governments of Thailand and Venezuela are also expected to be debated by the committee.

Technically, nominations are kept secret, but those offering them are free to disclose them if they wish. Wonder who nominated Putin? And is it possible the nomination was ironic? Hard to say.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.