Dissertation Award

Applications for the 2024 Dissertation Award is now closed.

The ACUNS Dissertation Award recognizes graduate students of extraordinary potential who have successfully defended a doctoral dissertation on a topic of direct and demonstrable relevance to the United Nations and/or the UN system. The award is bestowed annually with the winner announced in advance of the ACUNS Annual Meeting in June. The winner(s) of the Award obtain a prize of (up to) $500 USD. Award winners are invited to submit an article drawing on their dissertation to the ACUNS journal, Global Governance. Past winners of the award are recognized below on this webpage.

Details regarding eligibility and requirements for the 2024 Dissertation Award are provided below.

Due to the large number of applications received, ACUNS cannot provide information regarding the evaluation of any individual application or return submitted materials. For questions, please contact the ACUNS Administrative Coordinator by email at admin@acuns.org.

2024 Award Eligibility and Requirements

Past Award Winners

2023: Rob Grace
Brown University | United States
The Promise and Tragedy of Humanitarianism: How Aid Workers Negotiate the Politics of International Emergency Relief. 

2022: Anine Hagemann
University of Copenhagen | Denmark
Inventing Protection: The birth of the United Nations protection of civilians sites in South Sudan


2022: Jenna Russo
City University of New York (CUNY) | United States
Protecting Peace? Analyzing the Relationship Between the Protection of Civilians and Peace in UN Peacekeeping Settings

2021: Hannah Birkenkötter
Humboldt University of Berlin | Germany
A Concept at the Very Heart of the Organization’s Mission: Unpacking the Rule of Law in the United Nations

Honorable Mentions:
Sam Onapa | University of New England | United States | Dealing with Estranged Political Relationships: A Prerequisite for Sustainable Peace in South Sudan

Laura Peitz | Hertie School of Governance | Germany | Dual Nature of Multilateral Development Banks: Balancing Development and Financial Logics

Emma Saint | London School of Economics and Political Science | United Kingdom | Empowering Resistance: Revisionist States and the Underlying Dynamics of Norm Diffusion

2020: Eric Tanguay
Wilfrid Laurier University | Canada
Navigating Pathways for Peace in Hybrid Political Contexts: Examining Ghana’s Infrastructure for Peace

2019: Catriona Standfield
Syracuse University | United States
Gender and Legitimacy in United Nations Mediation

2018: Dorottya Mendly
Corvinus University of Budapest | Hungary
Constructing Agency: The UN in a Global Governmentality

2017: Gabriella Lloyd
The Ohio State University | United States
Mandating (In) Security? How UN Missions Endanger the Civilians They Intend to Protect

2016: Gabriela Bueno
University of Massachusetts: Boston | United States
The Institutional Landscape of International Forest Protection: Understanding Institutional Complexity in International Forest Governance

2015: Dahlia Simangan
The Australian National University | Australia
The Responsibility to Rebuild: Exploring the Future of UN’s Approach to Post-Conflict Peacebuilding

2014: Anjali Dayal
Georgetown University | United States
War, Repetition, Reputation: Peacekeeping and Links between Civil Wars

2013: Elodie Convergne
Sciences Po Paris | France and Visiting Scholar at Columbia University | United States
UN Special Envoy Mediation in Civil Wars: Polysemic Peace, Flexible Diplomacy, and Emancipation of the Secretariat

2012: Gabriel Cardona-Fox
The University of Texas at Austin | United States
When Soft Law Makes a Difference: A Global Study of Compliance with the International Regime to Protect Internally Displaced Persons

2011: Herman Salton
University of Wales: Aberystwyth | United Kingdom and Visiting Research Fellow at the City University of New York | United States
Dangerous Diplomacy: Anatomy of the UN Failure in Rwanda

2010: Carlotta Minnella
University of Oxford | United Kingdom
Delegitimizing Violence: The Cultural Sources of National Security and Counter-Terrorism Policies after September 11

2009: Megan Bradley
University of Oxford | United Kingdom
Just Return: Redress for Refugees and the Responsibilities of States

2008: Kelly Levin
Yale School of Forestry and Environment Studies | United States
Protecting Biodiversity in a Changing Climate: The Role of Science in Adaptation Policy

2007: Monika Krause
New York University | United States
The Logic of Relief: Humanitarian NGOs and Global Governance

2006: Christopher Blattman
University of California: Berkeley | United States
War Affected Youth in Northern Uganda

2005: NO AWARD

2004: Maria Ivanova
Yale University | United States
The Story of Stockholm, Explaining Global Environmental Governance

2003: Arturo Sotomayor 
Columbia University | United States
Diversion Peace in South America: From Praetorianism to Peacekeeping?

2002: Gláucia Yoshiura Boyer
The Graduate Institute of International Studies | Switzerland
Recovering States from Disintegration: An Emerging International Cooperation Framework

2001: Sarah K. Kischer
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | United States
Refugees and the Spread of Civil War

2000: John Cockell
London School of Economics and Political Science | United Kingdom
Managing Self-Determination in Ethnic Conflict: International Society and the Kosovo Crisis


2000: Ralph Wilde
Trinity College, Cambridge University | United Kingdom
The Administration of Territory by International Organisations in International Law

1999: Stephen Brown
New York University | United States
Donors and Democratization in Africa: Foreign Aid and Political Reform in Kenya and Malawi


1999: Lisa Gelman
University of Pennsylvania | United States
Talking Politics: The Role of Conference   Diplomacy and Non-State Actors in the Global Regime Process

1998: Sam Daws
Oxford University | United Kingdom 
UN Security Council Reform: Negotiations on the Composition and Voting Procedure of the UN Security Council since 1944


1998: Roland Paris
Yale University | United States
Consolidating Peace in War Shattered States: The Limits of Liberal Institutionalism

1997: Bruce D. Jones
London School of Economics and Political Science | United Kingdom
A Contingency Model of Third-Party Intervention in Civil Conflict: UN and NGO Intervention in Rwanda, 1990-95


1997: Andrei Maximenko
University of South Carolina | United States
Managing Organizational Change for Promoting  Human Security: Organizational learn and Institutional Reform in the UN

1996: Tamar Gutner
Massachusetts Institute of Technology | United States
Banking on the Environment: Multilateral Development Banks and their Environmental Performance in Central and Eastern Europe

1995: Brad Roth
University of California: Berkeley | United States
Government Illegitimacy in International Law: An Emerging Norm in Theoretical Perspectives