Human Rights Section - Lynne Rienner Publishers Award for Best Dissertation

The purpose of this award is recognize the best dissertation in the field of human rights defended within two years of the award nomination deadline. Dissertations that ask timely and important questions and deploy innovative methods to answer those questions, as well as dissertations that engage directly with ongoing debates within the human rights field are particularly invited for consideration.


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  1. Dissertations in the field of human rights that are successfully defended during the two-year period prior to the nomination deadline are eligible for nomination. (For example, for nominations received in June 2021, the dissertation must have been defended between July 2019 and June 2021.) Self-nominations are welcome but all nominations must be accompanied by a letter from a member of the dissertation committee, preferably the dissertation advisor.
  • The award is accompanied by $500 and a plaque.
  • All nominations, including dissertation files themselves, should be submitted by June 30th through a nomination form, available here:
  • Please do NOT send dissertations or nomination information directly to the committee members.


Congratulations to the 2021 recipient of the Human Rights Section - Lynne Rienner Publishers Award for Best Dissertation, Eleanor Paynter, for “Witnessing Emergency: Testimonial Narratives of Precarious Migration to Italy”! See the previous recipients below.

Year Recipient Title
2021 Eleanor Paynter “One Day I Will Tell This to My Daughter”: Serb Women, Silence, and the Politics of Victimhood in Sarajevo”
2020 Cindy Ewing Title not provided

Committee Members

Joel Pruce | Chair
March 2021-March 2022
University of Dayton

Mahmood Monshipuri | Member
March 2021-March 2022
San Francisco State University

Eleanor Paynter | Member
March 2021-March 2022
Cornell University

Award Chairs, please review dates to ensure deadlines are met.

Key Dates