Dr. Jesse S.G. Wozniak

Hello! I’m currently 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.

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

My research agenda spans multiple fields and speaks to many audiences; 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

“The Self Presentation of the Islamic State in Rumiyah Magazine”

Wozniak, Jesse, Joshua Woods, and Yan Song Lee (Under Review at Terrorism and Political Violence)

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

Wozniak, Jesse and Vivian Guettler (data analysis)

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

Conti, Norman, Adam Burston, and Jesse Wozniak (Under Review at Sociology of Race and Ethnicity)

“'We’re Going To Prove We’re A Civil and Developed Country': Police, Legitimacy, and Democracy in the Iraqi State"

Wozniak, Jesse (book manuscript, prospectus and sample chapters available)


“Legal Decision-Making in Iraqi Kurdistan”

Wozniak, Jesse and Gabrielle Ferrales (data analysis)

“Factorial Survey Analysis of Iraqi Kurdistan”

Ferrales, Gabrielle and Jesse Wozniak (data analysis)

"Interview and Ethnographic Data Analysis”

Wozniak, Jesse and Gabrielle Ferrales (data analysis)

Most Recent Publications

All Publications

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 DOI: 10.1080/01924036.2019.1602548
Wozniak, Jesse

An Initial Case Study in Education Among Police and Incarcerated Men

Forthcoming at The Police Journal: Theory, Practice and Principles
Burston, Adam, Norman Conti, Jesse Wozniak, and Elaine Frantz

Media Appearances

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

Classes Taught

Spring 2019

SOCA 321
Punishment and Social Control

SOCA 234
The Criminal Justice System

Fall 2018

SOCA 793
Race, Crime, & Community

SOCA 234
The Criminal Justice System

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

The Criminal Justice System