Grawemeyer Awards

university of louisville, grawemeyer awards

The Grawemeyer Awards program at the University of Louisville pays tribute to the power of creative ideas, emphasizing the impact a single idea can have on the world. By creating these awards, Charles Grawemeyer found a way to inspire, honor and nurture achievements in music composition, education, religion, psychology and ideas improving world order

Scott Straus has won the 2018 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order for his 2015 book, “Making and Unmaking Nations: War, Leadership, and Genocide in Modern Africa.”

In the book, Straus, who teaches at University of Wisconsin-Madison, explains how ideas and political messages can become tipping points for genocide. His original research examines patterns and circumstances that have resulted in genocide and contrasts those with similar situations where genocide seemed likely to happen but did not. Straus contends that the “founding narratives” of national leaders can determine whether an ethnic minority is tolerated or deemed a threat to the state.

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