Scott Straus

Job title: 
Political Science

Scott Straus (Ph.D. Berkeley, 2004) is a Professor of Political Science who studies political violence, genocide, human rights, and post-conflict politics with an empirical focus on Sub-Saharan Africa. He is the author or editor of nine books, including Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Cornell, 2015), which won the Grawemeyer Award for Improving World Order, the Lepgold Prize from Georgetown University, the Best Book in Conflict Processes from the American Political Science Association, and the Best Book in Human Rights from the International Studies Association. Straus also wrote The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War (Cornell, 2006), which won the Best Book in Political Science from the Association of American Publishers and Honorable Mention for the Melville Herskovits prize from the African Studies Association. He also authored Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (US Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2016) and co-authored, with Barry Driscoll, Introduction to International Studies: Global Forces, Interactions, and Tensions (Sage, 2022, 2nd ed.) Straus has published articles in American Journal of Political ScienceWorld Politics, Politics and SocietyForeign AffairsPerspectives on PoliticsAfrican AffairsJournal of Peace Research, Terrorism and Political ViolenceGenocide Studies and PreventionThe Journal of Genocide Research, and other journals. Straus also serves as the co-editor, with Michel Wieviorka, of the Paris-based journal Violence: An International Journal and of the Critical Human Rights book series at the University of Wisconsin Press, alongside Tyrell Haberkorn. He has received fellowships from the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the United States Institute of Peace. Prior to returning to Berkeley in 2021, he was the Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Political Science and International Studies, where he also served as Chair and Associate Chair of the Department of Political Science and won the campus-wide William Kiekhofer Distinguished Teaching Award. In 2016, President Obama appointed him to the Council of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum, and Straus continues to serve on the Museum’s Committee on Conscience. Prior to his academic career, Straus was a freelance journalist based in Nairobi; he was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize for his 1996 coverage of the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Research interests: 
  • Global/Transnational 
  • Human Rights/Norms