Leo Strauss Award 

Nominations are now closed.

The Leo Strauss Award honors the best doctoral dissertation in the field of political philosophy.

The award is presented at the APSA Annual Meeting and carries a cash prize of $750.  The award was developed by former students of Strauss' who sought to recognize his extraordinary influence on generations of students and his contributions to the field of political philosophy.  He was a major figure in the department of political science at the University of Chicago, where he taught from 1949 to 1967.

Leo Strauss Award Committee

Chair: Jill Frank
Cornell University
[email protected]

Dr. Jeffrey Church
University of Houston
[email protected]

Dr. Claudia Leeb
Washington State University
[email protected]

2019 Award Recipient 

strauss award

Adam Lebovitz
is a political theorist and constitutional lawyer with a special interest in the constitutional theories of eighteenth-century Britain, America, and France. Currently he is the WYNG Research Fellow in Political Theory and Philosophy at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. He received his PhD from the Harvard University Department of Government in 2018, and his law degree from the Harvard Law School in 2012. He has held visiting fellowships at the Harvard Law School and the New York University Law School, as well as the Max Planck Institute in Frankfurt, Germany.

Year Author Dissertation Submitted by


Adam Lebovitz

Colossus: Constitutional Theory in America and France, 1776-1799

Harvard University

2018 Tae-Yeoun Keum Plato and the Mythic Tradition of Political Thought Harvard University


Kevin Duong

Democratic Terror: Redemptive Violence and the Formation of Nineteenth Century France

Cornell University


Matthew Longo

Sovereignty in the Age of Securitization: A Study on Borders and Bordering in the United States after 9/11

Yale University


Teresa Bejan

Mere Civility: Toleration and its Limits in Early Modern England and America

Yale University


Adam Sandel

The Place of Prejudice

University of Oxford


Alin Fumurescu

Compromise and Representation: A Split History of Early Modernity

Indiana University, Bloomington  


Alison McQueen

Political Realism in Apocalyptic Times

Cornell University


Daniel Lee

Popular Sovereignty, Roman Law and the Civilian Foundations of the Constitutional State in Early Modern Political Thought

Princeton University


Joseph Mazor

A Liberal Theory of Natural Resource Property Rights

Harvard University


Robert Alan Sparling

Johann Georg Hamann and the Enlightenment Project

University of Toronto


Leigh Jenco

Individuals, Institutions, and Political Change: The Political Theory of Zhang Shizhao

University of Chicago


Lars Tønder

Experiences of tolerance: Immanence, Transcendence, Hilaritas

The Johns Hopkins University


Xavier Marquez

The Stranger's Knowledge: Political Knowledge in Plato’s Statesman

University of Notre Dame


Douglas Casson

Liberating Judgment: John Locke and the Politics of Probability

Duke University


Christina Tarnopolsky

Plato and the Politics of Shame

Harvard University


Arash Abizadeh

Rhetoric, the Passions, and Difference in Discursive Democracy

Harvard University


Andreas Kalyvas

The Politics of the Extraordinary: Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt

Columbia University


Christopher Nathan Dugan

Reason's Wake: Political Education in Plato's Laws

University of California, San Diego

Adam Lebovitz, and many other scholars like him, are able to receive international recognition for their work thanks to the support from individual donations. Please consider making a donation to continue the Leo Strauss Award for the next young scholar.

Donate now to Leo Strauss Award Fund