Robert C. Tucker/Stephen F. Cohen Dissertation Prize

The Robert C. Tucker/Stephen F. Cohen Dissertation Prize, established in 2006 and sponsored by the KAT Charitable Foundation, is awarded annually (if there is a distinguished submission) for an outstanding English-language doctoral dissertation in Soviet or Post-Soviet politics and history in the tradition practiced by Robert C. Tucker and Stephen F. Cohen. The dissertation must be defended at an American or Canadian university, and must be completed during the calendar year prior to the award. The prize carries a $6,000 award intended to help the author turn the dissertation into a publishable manuscript. The prize is awarded at the ASEEES Annual Convention.

Rules of Eligibility

Rules of eligibility for the ASEEES Robert C. Tucker/Stephen F. Cohen Dissertation Prize are as follows:

  • The dissertation must be written in English and defended at a university in the United States or Canada;
  • The dissertation must be completed and defended during the calendar year prior to the award (for example, the dissertation must have been defended in 2023 to be eligible for the 2024 competition);
  • The dissertation’s primary subject and analytical purpose must be in the realm of the history of domestic politics, as broadly understood in academic or public life, though it may also include social, cultural, economic, international or other dimensions. The dissertation must focus primarily on Russia (though the topic may also involve other former Soviet republics) during one or more periods between January 1918 and the present.

Nominating Instructions

A nomination will consist of a detailed letter from the dissertation’s main faculty supervisor explaining the ways in which the work is outstanding in both its empirical and interpretive contributions, along with an abstract of 700-1000 words, written by the candidate, specifying the sources and general findings of the research. A faculty supervisor may nominate no more than one dissertation a year.

Faculty supervisors should send each committee member listed below their letter and the 700-1000-word abstract (candidates may also initiate the nomination, but it must come from their advisers). The committee will read this material and then request copies of the dissertations that best meet the criteria, as defined in the statement above. Nominations must be received no later than May 15.

2024 Tucker/Cohen Dissertation Prize Committee

The winner of the Tucker/Cohen Dissertation Prize will be chosen by the following scholars. For questions, please contact ASEEES at or 412-648-9911..

Kathleen Smith, Georgetown University, 2022-2024

Melissa Chakars
St. Joseph’s University, 2023-2025

Alexis Peri
Boston University, 2022-2024

Past Winners

The following scholars received the Robert C. Tucker/Stephen F. Cohen Dissertation Prize in the past:

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