HR Best Paper Award

The “Best Paper” Award is given to the author(s) of the best paper presented at the ISA Annual Convention by a faculty member (regardless of academic rank) or human rights professional/activist. The Award is accompanied by a one-year paid membership of ISA and Human Rights Section dues (see below). Author(s) of the paper for which the award is given are also invited to submit the paper to the Journal of Human Rights for expedited review and consideration for publication.

General Information

Eligibility and Award Criteria

  1. Papers must have been presented on a panel sponsored or co-sponsored by the Human Rights Section.
  2. Recipients must be members of ISA and of the Human Rights Section at the time the award is presented at the ISA Annual Meeting. If the recipient is not a member of ISA and/or the Human Rights Section at the time the award is offered, the recipient may choose to apply the membership benefit of the award prior to presentation at the annual meeting. Recipients who are already members at the time the award is offered will be able to apply the Membership benefit the following year.


  • The award is accompanied by a paid one-year membership in ISA plus the Human Rights Section.
  • Author(s) of the winning paper should submit their manuscript to The Journal of Human Rights for expedited review and consideration for publication. Please follow the online submission guidelines available at

Selection Process

  • Two at-large members of the executive committee and one additional member (non-executive committee) chosen by the Section Chair will review the nominated papers.
  • The award will be presented at the Annual Business Meeting at the ISA Annual Convention.

Apply For This Award

Nomination Information

  1. Nominated papers must be uploaded to the ISA Conference Paper archive.
  2. Nominations may be made by panel chairs, discussants, co-panelists and human rights section members. Self-nominations are also invited. 
  3. Nominations should be directed via email to the Chair of the Best Paper Award Committee, Rebecca Sanders, no later than June 15th.


Congratulations to Benjamin A.T. Graham and Kelebogile Zvobgo, the 2019 recipient of the Human Rights Best Paper award for their paper The World Bank as an Enforcer of Human Rights

Past Recipients


Rebecca Sanders| Chair
April 2019-March 2020
University of Cincinnati

Benjamin Graham | Member
April 2019-March 2020
University of Southern California

Heather Smith-Cannoy | Member
April 2019-March 2020
Lewis & Clark College

Award Chairs please review dates to ensure deadlines are met.

Key Dates

The International Studies Association

Representing over 100 countries, ISA has more than 6,500 members worldwide and is the most respected and widely known scholarly association in this field. Endeavoring to create communities of scholars dedicated to international studies, ISA is divided into 7 geographic subdivisions of ISA (Regions), 29 thematic groups (Sections) and 4 Caucuses which provide opportunities to exchange ideas and research with local colleagues and within specific subject areas.
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