Edward S. Corwin Award 


Nominations for the 2024 APSA Awards have closed.

The Corwin Award honors the best doctoral dissertation in the field of public law.

Edward S. Corwin was a former Association president who is nationally known and widely published.  He consulted with many other academics as well as politicians involved with constitutional issues, most notably when he publicly supported Franklin D. Roosevelt's Supreme Court reorganization ("court packing") plan.  The award is presented at the APSA Annual Meeting and carries a cash prize of $750. 


Nomination Information

Public law is broadly defined to include the judicial process, judicial behavior, judicial biography, courts, law, legal systems, the American constitutional system, civil liberties, or any other substantial area, or any work which deals in a significant fashion with a topic related to or having substantial impact on the American Constitution.

  • Eligibility: Nominees do not have to be members of APSA, affiliated with an institution in the United States, or an American citizen in order to be considered for an award.

    Dissertations must have been successfully defended within the previous two calendar years (dissertations for the 2024 award must be defended in 2022 or 2023).

    Self-nominations are accepted. Nominations from non-PhD departments and institutions are also welcome if the nominee is currently employed there.

    APSA will accept up to two nominations for the Corwin Award per school or political science department.

Edward S. Corwin Award Committee

Chair: Christine L. Nemacheck
College of William & Mary

Dr. Rebecca Ann Reid
University of Texas al El Paso

Dr. Salmon A. Shomade
Oxford College of Emory University

Year Author Dissertation Institution


Sam Hayes

Courtroom Cartography: How Federal Court Redistricting Has Shaped American Democracy from Baker to Rucho

Boston College


Nikhil Kalyanpur

Liberalism Outsourced: Why Oligarchs and Autocrats Fight in Foreign Courts

Georgetown University


Anthony DeMattee

Domesticating Civil Society: How and Why Governments Use Laws to Regulate CSOs

Indiana University

2020 Tommaso Pavone

The Ghostwriters: Lawyers and the Politics Behind the Judicial Construction of Europe

Princeton University
2019 Yasser Kureshi

Judging the Generals: Judicial-Military Interactions in Authoritarian and Post-Authoritarian States

Brandeis University


Abigail Matthews

Connected Courts: The Diffusion of Precedent Across State Supreme Courts

University of Iowa


Allison Harris

Who's on the Bench?: Political Implications of Judicial Characteristics and Judicial Selection Methods in the U.S.

University of Chicago


Jud Mathews

Constitutional Rights, Private Law, and Judicial Power

Yale University


Matthew Hitt

Judgment-Rationale Inconsistency in the US Supreme Court

Ohio State University


Rachel Hinkle

The Role of the United States Courts of Appeals in Legal Development

Washington University, St. Louis


Ezequiel Gonzalez Ocantos    

The Collapse of Impunity in Latin America: Legal Culture, Strategic Litigation and Judicial Behavior

University of Notre Dame


Lauren McCarthy

Trafficking (In)justice:  Law Enforcement’s Response to Human Trafficking in Russia

University of Wisconsin, Madison


Emily Zackin

Positive Constitutional Rights in the United States

Princeton University


Patrick Peel

Building Judicial Capacity in the Early American State: Legal Populism, County Courts, and Credit, 1645-1860

Johns Hopkins University


Mark Massoud

Who Rules the Law? How Government, Aid Agencies, and Civil Society Manipulate Law in Sudan

University of California, Berkeley


Diana Kapiszewsk

Challenging Decisions: High Courts and Economic Governance in Argentina and Brazil

University of California, Berkeley


Maria Dimitrova Popova

Judicial Independence and Political Competition: Electoral and Defamation Disputes in Russia and Ukraine

Harvard University


Justin J. Wert

The Not-So-Great Writ: Habeas Corpus and American Political Development

University of Oklahoma


Lori A. Johnson

Who Governs the Guardians? The Politics of Policymaking for Federal Courts

Mercer University


Martin J. Sweet

Supreme Policymaking: Coping with the Supreme Court's Affirmative Action Policies

Honors College, Florida Atlantic University


Tamir Moustafa

Law Versus the State: The Expansion of Constitutional Power in Egypt, 1980-2001

University of Washington


Jeffrey Kaplan Staton

Judicial Activism and Public Authority Compliance: The Role of Public Support in the Mexican Separation-Of-Powers System     

Washington University

2002 Nancy Scherer

Making a Point: The Politicization of Lower Federal Court Appointments in the Modern Political Era

University of Chicago
2001 Michael Ebeid

Influencing the Supreme Court: Democratic Accountability and the Presidential Threat to Judicial Independence

Yale University
2000 Kenneth I. Kersch

Frames of Progress: The Political Imagination of Rights and Liberties in the United States Supreme Court

Cornell University
1999 Kathleen Ann Uradnik

Government by Consent Decree: San Francisco's Struggle for Institutional Reform

University of California
1998 Christopher J. Zorn

U.S. Government Litigation Strategies in the Federal Appellate Courts

Ohio State University
1997 Thomas F. Burke

Litigation and its Discontents: The Politics of Adversarial Legalism

University of California, Berkeley
1996 Charles R. Epp

Constitutional Courts and the Rights Agenda in Comparative Perspective

University of Wisconsin
1995 Cary Coglianese

Challenging the Rules, Litigation and Bargaining in the Administrative Process

University of Michigan
1995 James F. Spriggs, II

The Impact of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Federal Administrative Agencies, 1954-1990

Washington University
1994 Deena Rabinowicz Dugan    

The Politics of Medical Malpractice Reform in the American States

Johns Hopkins University
1994 Susan Brodie Haire

Judges' Decisions in the United States Courts of Appeals: A Reassessment of Geographical Patterns in Judicial Behavior

University of South Carolina
1993 Andrew Koppelman

The Antidiscrimination Project: Foundations, Scope, Limits

Yale University
1992 No award given


1991 Terri Jennings Peretti

The Responsible Exercise of Judicial Power: In Defense of a Political Court

University of California, Berkeley
1990 James W. Tubbs

Roman Law Mind, Common Law Mind

Johns Hopkins University
1989 Mark Graber

The Transformation of the Modern Constitutional Defense of Free Speech

Yale University
1988 Graham Walker

The Deep Structure of Contemporary Constitutional Controversy: Morality, Skepticism and Augustine

University of Notre Dame
1987 H. W. Perry, Jr.

Deciding to Decide: The Agenda-Setting Process in the United States Supreme Court

University of Michigan
1986 Susan E. Lawrence

The Poor in Court: The Legal Impact of Expanded Access

Johns Hopkins University
1985 Kim Lane Scheppele

Legal Secrets: Common-Law Rules and the Social Distribution of Knowledge

University of Chicago
1984 Donald A. Downs

Freedom, Community, and the First Amendment: The Skokie Case and the Limits of Speech

University of California, Berkeley
1983 Mark Silverstein

Liberalism, Democracy, and the Court: Felix Frankfurter, Hugo Black, and Constitutional Decision-Making

Cornell University
1982 Timothy O'Neill

The Politics of Equality: Litigational Politics and Democratic Theory

University of California, Berkeley
1981 Stanley Charles Brubaker

Benjamin Nathan Cardozo: An Intellectual Biography

University of Virginia
1980 Calvin Jillson

Compromise and Critical Realignment in the American Constitutional Convention of 1787

University of Maryland
1979 Harry N. Hirsch

The Uses of Psychology in Judicial Biography: Felix Frankfurter and the Ambiguities of Self-Image

Princeton University
1979 Irving Frederick Lefberg

Analyzing Judicial Change: The Uses of 'Systematic Biography' in Anticipating the Court and Shaping Its Future Policies

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
1978 Philip Leon Dubois

Judicial Elections in the States: Patterns and Consequences

University of Wisconsin, Madison
1977 Milton Heumann

Adapting to Plea Bargaining: The Experience of Prosecutors, Judges and Defense Attorneys

Yale University
1976 Thomas Uhlman

Racial Justice: Black Judges and Defendants in the Metro City Criminal Court, 1968-1974

University of North Carolina
1975 No award given


1974 James E. Radcliffe

The Case-or-Controversy Provision -- How Limited Is the Political Role of the Federal Courts?

Pennsylvania State University
1973 Lief Hastings Carter

The Limits of Order: Uncertainty and Adaptation in a District Attorney's Office

University of California
1972 Walter G. Markham

Offenders in the Federal Courts: A Search for the Social Correlates of Justices

University of Pennsylvania
1971 Douglas E. Rosenthal

Client Participation in Professional Decision: The Lawyer-Client Relationship in Personal Injury Claims

Yale University
1970 No award given


1969 James P. Levine

The Bookseller and the Law of Obscenity: Toward an Empirical Theory of Free Expression

Northwestern University
1968 No award given


1967 Richard Richardson

A Study of the Judicial Process in Three U.S. Courts of Appeals, 1956-1961

Tulane University
1966 William K. Muir, Jr.

Law and Attitude Change

Yale University
1965 John D. Sprague

Voting Patterns on the United States Supreme Court: Cases in Federalism, 1889-1959

Washington University
1964 David F. Hughes

Salmon P. Chase: Chief Justice

Centre College of Kentucky

We are continually grateful for the contributions from APSA members and friends that make our work possible. Your donation helps continue the Corwin Award for future scholars researching public law. Thank you for your support of APSA and scholars across the discipline.

Donate now to Edward Corwin Award Fund