Dr. Jesse S.G. Wozniak

Hello! I’m an Associate Professor of Sociology at West Virginia University, where I’ve been since Spring 2013 after receiving my Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Minnesota.

My research centers mainly on policing and social control, with an emphasis on how state power intersects with neoliberalism and neoimperialism, and my work has appeared in such journals as The British Journal of Criminology, Punishment and Society, Social Science Quarterly, and The Journal of Peace Research, as well as having been featured on Buzzfeed News, Pittsburgh City Pages, and Top of the Mind with Julie Rosen.

I’m excited to announce my first book, Policing Iraq: Legitimacy, Democracy, and Empire in a Developing State (University of California Press), will be out in print March 2021.

If you have any questions about my research, publications, or the classes I teach, please explore the links on the left side of the page or give me a shout.

Academic Positions

  • 2019-Present Associate Professor

    West Virginia University
    Department of Sociology and Anthropology

  • 2013 - 2019 Assistant Professor

    West Virginia University
    Department of Sociology and Anthropology

Current Research

While I am firmly encamped within sociology, my work is in conversation with scholarship in political science, international relations, geography, and area studies. Most of my work focuses on the reconstruction of the police force within Iraqi Kurdistan, drawing from a large number of interviews and extended ethnographic observations, as well as a recent experimental survey. The goal of the work is to not only understand the narrow question of how police reconstruction actually works on the ground, but also larger questions of how police are designed to fulfill political projects, how the modern state wields its power, and how imperialism operates in contemporary international relations.

My other lines of work touch on similar issues through different lenses, ranging from the study of American police training regimes to looking at how the Islamic State is attempting to sell itself to prospective members. For a much longer and more academically pretentious explanation of my current research, click the button below.

Read More
2020

“Network Analysis of Police Recruit Narratives”

Jesse Wozniak, Patrick Doreian, and Norm Conti (Data Analysis)

“Legal Decision-Making in Iraqi Kurdistan”

Wozniak, Jesse, Gabrielle Ferrales, and Wenjie Liao (submission expected Fall 2020)

“‘The blackness that incriminated me’: Stigma and Normalization among Brothers and Keepers”

Conti, Norman, Adam Burston, and Jesse Wozniak (Forthcoming at Kalfou)

2019

“Discourse Analysis of Terror Organization Messaging in Public Outreach Media”

Wozniak, Jesse and Vivian Guettler (data analysis)

"Policing Iraq: Legitimacy, Democracy, and Empire in a Developing State"

Wozniak, Jesse (Forthcoming, University of California Press)

2018

“Factorial Survey Analysis of Iraqi Kurdistan”

Ferrales, Gabrielle, Jesse Wozniak, and Wenjie Liao (data analysis)

"Interview and Ethnographic Data Analysis”

Wozniak, Jesse, Gabrielle Ferrales, and Wenjie Liao (data analysis)

Most Recent Publications

All Publications

“‘The blackness that incriminated me’: Stigma and Normalization among Brothers and Keepers”

Forthcoming at Kalfou
Adam Burston, Jesse Wozniak, and Norman Conti

“The Evolving Self-Presentation of the Islamic State, From Dabiq to Rumiyah”

The Social Science Journal DOI: 10.1080/03623319.2020.1727242
Wozniak, Jesse, Joshua Woods, and Yan Song Lee

“From the Point of a Gun to the Point of Starvation: Economic Conscription in Post Conflict Policing”

International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice 43(4): 341-355
Wozniak, Jesse

Media Appearances

Interviews, radio, and news appearances featuring research and publications.

Classes Taught

Spring 2020

SOCA 319
Police Culture and Socialization

SOCA 488
Capstone: Law, Politics, and Inequality

Fall 2019

None
On Sabbatical

None
On Sabbatical

Graduate (Past)

SOCA 610
Advanced General Sociology

SOCA 513
Qualitative Methods

SOCA 793
Race, Crime, and Community

Undergraduate (Past)

SOCA 488
Capstone: Law, Politics, and Inequality

SOCA 321
Punishment and Social Control

SOCA 319
Police Culture and Socialization

SOCA234
The Criminal Justice System