Ivan Ermakoff

Position title: Resident Fellow (2012-2013)

Sociology, UW-Madison

Stock image of IRH logo for fellows that did not provide a portrait image--blue logo on grey background

Enacting State Persecution: The Police and Anti-Semitic Policy from a Comparative Perspective, 1940-1944

Enacting State Persecution investigates the factors that shape state agents’ decision to collaborate in, or subvert, the implementation of inhumane policies. The starting point of this inquiry is the observation that a modern state cannot persecute vast groups of people without relying extensively on its civil servants. However, unless these civil servants have been specifically recruited for this purpose, persecuting others, committing acts of violence against specific groups, and, more broadly, committing inhumane acts are not part of their training, worldview and official duties. This study explores the mechanisms that make this violence possible by examining the role played by the French Police in the deportation of Jews from France between 1942 and 1944.

Ivan Ermakoff is Professor of Sociology at UW-Madison. His research agenda has been centered on collective processes and outcomes in times of disruption. Along these lines, he has been studying the adoption of self-limiting norms (“Prelates and Princes,” American Sociological Review, 62:405-422), collective abdications (Ruling Oneself Out, Duke University Press), the rise and fall of patrimonial structures of power (“Patrimony and collective capacity,” Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 636: 182-203), shifts in epistemic beliefs (“Theory of Practice, Rational Choice and Historical Change,” Theory and Society, 39: 527-553), and the implementation of state persecution (“Police et arrestations,” Le Genre Humain, 52: 215-243).