Endowed by Library benefactor John W. Kluge, the Kluge Prize rewards lifetime achievement in the wide range of disciplines not covered by the Nobel prizes. Such disciplines include history, philosophy, politics, anthropology, sociology, religion, criticism in the arts and humanities, and linguistics. The award is at the financial level of the Nobel awards.
The prize is international; the recipient may be of any nationality, writing in any language. The main criterion for a recipient of the Kluge Prize is deep intellectual accomplishment in the human sciences. The recipient's body of work should evidence growth in maturity and range over the years. The recipient will have demonstrated unusual distinction within a given area of inquiry and across disciplines in the human sciences. Significantly, the recipient's writings should be, in large part, understandable and important for those involved in public affairs.