Scott Straus

Position title: Vilas Distinguished Achievement Professor of Political Science and International Studies 2004-2021, IS Major Faculty Director 2019-2020


Website: Scott Straus's website

*Visit here to read full faculty profile of Scott Straus.

Hear directly from Professor Straus on the 1050 Bascom podcast.


Straus works on violence, human rights, and African politics. His research interests include Africa, Conflict Resolution, Cote d’lvoire, DR Congo, Foreign Aid, Genocide, Humanitarian Law, Human Rights, Nationalism, Political Violence, Rwanda.


His most recent books are Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention (US Holocuast Memorial Museum, 2016) and Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Cornell, 2015), which won awards from the American Political Science Association and the International Studies Association.  His 2006 book on the Rwandan genocide, The Order of Genocide: Race, Power, and War in Rwanda (Cornell University Press), also won several awards, including the best 2006 book in political science from the Association of American Publishers. He also has co-edited, with Lars Waldorf, Remaking Rwanda: State-Building and Human Rights in Rwanda (UW Press, 2011) and, with Steve Stern, The Human Rights Paradox: Universality and Its Discontents (UW Press, 2014).

Check out this amazing article, “After the Violence“, on our very own Professor Scott Straus, and his experience in Zaire! Much of his scholarship focuses on the causes of genocide and how to prevent it – this article will also refer you to several of his books!


Introduction to International Studies (Honors Seminar) [Intl St 101]
Politics of Human Rights [Intl St 434]
Comparative Study of Genocide [Intl St 439]
Rebuilding States and Societies after War (undergrad seminar) [Intl St 601]
Post-Conflict Peacebuilding [Poli Sci 601]
African Politics [Poli Sci 660]
Political Science as a Discipline and Profession [Poli Sci 800]
Research and Writing Seminar [Poli Sci 801]
Statistical Computing [Poli Sci 919]
Agent Based Modeling [Poli Sci 919]
Event History [Poli Sci 919]
Political Violence (Grad Seminar) [Poli Sci 948]
International Human Rights: Legal and Political Perspectives [Poli Sci 948]
African Politics (grad seminar) [Poli Sci 961]


Institute for International and Regional Studies


Scott Straus and Barry Driscoll, International Studies: Global Forces, Interactions, and Tensions (Sage/CQ Press, 2019).
Scott Straus. “Muster von Genozid un Massengewakt in Subsahara-Afrika,” in Olaf Gl?ckner and Roy Knocke, eds., Das Zeitalter de Genozid: Urspr?nge, Formen nd Folgen politischer Gewalt im 20. Jajrundert (Berlin: Duncker and Humblot, 2017).
Charles Fernandes Taylor, Jon CW Pevehouse, and Scott Straus, “Perils of pluralism: Electoral violence and incumbency in sub-Saharan Africa,” Journal of Peace Research 54:3 (2017), pp. 297-411
Courtney Hillebrecht and Scott Straus. 2017. “Who Pursues the Perpetrators? State Cooperation with the ICC,” Human Rights Quarterly 39:1, 162-188.
Scott Straus. 2016. “Ideology and Restraint: Genocide and Non-Genocide Cases in Comparative Perspective.” Empire, Ideology, Mass Violence: The Long 20th Century in Comparative Perspective. pp. 203-241.
Scott Straus, “What is being Prevented? Genocide, Atrocity, and Conceptual Ambiguity in the Anti-Atrocity Movement,” in Sheri Roseberg, tibi Galis, and Alex Zucker, eds., Reconstructing Atrocity Prevention (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2016), pp. 17-30.
Scott Straus (with André Guichaoua and Emmanuel Ntakarutimana), “Aspirations démocratiques et ‘démocraties autoritaires’ en Afrique centrale,” Revue Tiers Monde 228 (2016), introduction and co-edited special issue.
Scott Strays, “Triggers of Mass Atrocity,” Politics and Governance 3:3 (2015).
Scott Straus, Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa (Ithaca: Cornell University Press, 2015)
Scott Straus, “Challenges, Debates, and Reflections on the ‘Post’ in ‘Post-Conflict’ Côte d’Ivoire: An Introduction,” Canadian Journal of African Studies 48:2, pp. 181-184.
Scott Straus. 2016. Fundamentals of Genocide and Mass Atrocity Prevention. Washington, DC: The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order. (Wisconsin State Journal article)
Phi Beta Kappa Excellence in Teaching Award.
Making and Unmaking Nations, Best Book Award from the Conflict Processes Section of the American Political Science Association for a book published in 2014 or 2015.
Making and Unmaking Nations, The Georgetown University Lepgold Book Prize, for the best book on international relations published in 2015.
Appointed by President Obama as a member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council
UW Kellett Mid-Career Award
Service for Outstanding Mentor from the Ronald E McNair program
2015 Distinguished Honors Faculty Awards from the L&S Honor Program.
Nominated by UW-Madison for the Carnegie Fellows Program
2015 Distinguished Honors Faculty Awards from the L&S Honor Program
Honored Instructor Award, UW-Madison Division of Housing
Winnick Fellow, Committee on Conscience, U.S. Memorial Holocaust Museum
United States Institute for Peace Grant, 2010 Annual Competition
Romnes Faculty Fellow – UW Madison Graduate School