Scott Straus is Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Political Science and International Studies at UW-Madison, where he also serves as Associate Chair/Director of Graduate Studies of Political Science. Scott specializes in the study of genocide, political violence, human rights, and African politics. His most recent books are Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Cornell University Press, 2015), which has won four awards, including the 2018 Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order, as well as two honorable mentions.
Dr. Straus is also the author of Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, 2016), and has published several books on Rwanda, including The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda (Cornell University Press, 2006); Remaking Rwanda: State Building and Human Rights after Mass Violence(University of Wisconsin Press, 2011); and Intimate Enemy (Zone Books, 2006). Scott also co-authored (with David Leonard) Africa’s Stalled Development (Lynne Rienner, 2003), translated The Great Lakes of Africa (Zone Books, 2003) and co-edited (with Steve Stern) The Human Rights Paradox (University of Wisconsin Press, 2014).
He has published in the American Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, Foreign Affairs, World Politics, Politics & Society, Journal of Genocide Research, African Affairs, Terrorism and Political Violence, Genocide Studies and Prevention, Human Rights Quarterly, Journal of Peace Research, and the Canadian Journal of African Studies.
Dr. Straus has received fellowships from the Andrew Mellon Foundation, the Harry Frank Guggenheim Foundation, the National Science Foundation, the Social Science Research Council, and the United States Institute of Peace. In 2009, he was awarded the campus-wide William H. Kiekhofer Distinguished Teaching Award and in 2015 a Distinguished Honors Faculty award. In 2011, he was named a Winnick Fellow at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and in December 2016 was appointed to the United States Holocaust Memorial Council by President Obama. He co-edits the book series Critical Human Rights with Steve Stern. Before starting in academia, Scott was a freelance journalist based in Nairobi, Kenya.
Dr. Straus received his Ph.D. and M.A. degrees from the University of California-Berkeley, and his BA (cum laude) from Dartmouth College.