The Lemkin
Book Award

ISG's Lemkin Award honors Raphael Lemkin, the originator of the concept of genocide and first exponent of a United Nations Genocide Convention. The biennial award recognizes the best non-fiction book published in English or translated into English that focuses on explanations of genocide, crimes against humanity, state mass killings and gross violations of human rights, and strategies to prevent such crimes and violations.
Raphael Lemkin [UN]

Call for Submissions

Edited volumes, memoirs, poetry, fiction and drama are excluded.

The award consists of a citation and honorarium, and the winner is invited to deliver a public address in New York City at a meeting convened by the Institute for the Study of Genocide in fall, 2021.

The 2021 award cycle covers books published between January 1, 2019 and December 31, 2020.

We are accepting nominations for books published in the 2019 calendar year (January 1st-December 31st, 2019).


Prior to sending books please contact Lemkin Award Committee Chair, Professor Ernesto Verdeja at

2019 Lemkin Book Award Winner

Geoffrey Robinson, The Killing Season: A History of the Indonesian Massacres, 1965-66 (Princeton)

The 2019 Lemkin Book Award Ceremony honoring "The Killing Season" by Geoffrey Robinson (UCLA) will be held at the Cardozo Law Institute in Holocaust and Human Rights in New York City in fall, 2019. Details will be posted shortly.


  • Wilson, Sandra, Robert Cribb, Beatrice Trefalt, and Dean Aszkielowicz Japanese War Criminals: The Politics of Justice After the Second World War (Columbia)
  • Ismail, Salwa The Rule of Violence: Subjectivity, Memory and Government in Syria (Cambridge)
  • Clark, Phil Distant Justice: The Impact of the International Criminal Court on African Politics (Cambridge)

Past Lemkin Book Award Winners

2017: Benjamin Madley, An American Genocide: The United States and the California Indian Catastrophe (Yale, 2016)

2015: Mark Levene, The Crisis of Genocide, 2 volumes (Oxford University Press, 2104)

2013: Yang Jisheng, Tombstone: The Great Chinese Famine 1958-1962, translation by Stacy Mosher and Guo Jian (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012)

2011: Emma Gilligan, Terror in Chechnya: Russia and the Tragedy of Civilians in War (Princeton, 2009)

2009: Darius Rejali, Torture and Democracy (Princeton, 2007)

2007: Donald Bloxham, The Great Game of Genocide: Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Ottoman Armenians (Oxford, 2005)

2005: Peter Balakian, The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response (Harper Collins, 2003)

2003: Samantha Power, A Problem From Hell: America and the Age of Genocide (Harper Perennial, 2002)

2000: Alison Des Forges, Leave None to Tell the Story: Genocide in Rwanda (Human Rights Watch and FIDH, 1999)