In 1991 the Norwegian Nobel Institute established a research program. The program brought a small group of researchers to the Institute, where they spent some months working on topics of related interest. In a world of growing specialization, the Institute emphasized broad topics and brought together historians and political scientists. Many of the researchers came from the United States; that was only natural since so many of the leading ones worked at America’s excellent universities. The Institute did, however, make a point of inviting some of the younger Russian and even Chinese scholars to Norway. At least they were young when they first came; they may not be so young now. The increasingly global approach of the Nobel Peace Prize should also be reflected in the focus of the Institute’s research program. The purpose of the research program was to take away any excuse the
selected fellows might have had for not doing good research. The Nobel Institute provided them with a sparsely furnished office equipped with modern means of communication, a superb library, interesting colleagues, and a professional staff. The only obligation the fellows had was to present a research paper at the biweekly research seminar and to take part in the discussion about the papers of the other fellows. The discussions were always “frank.” For some time we focused on various aspects of the Cold War. And for many years virtually all the leading books on the Cold War were produced by scholars who had spent at least some time at the Nobel Institute. In 2011 the research program celebrated its twentieth anniversary.