Ivan Ermakoff

Ivan Ermakoff


Soc 476 Contemporary Sociological Theory
Soc 624 Political Sociology
Soc 678 Sociology of Persecution
Soc 724 Intermediate Political Sociology
Soc 924 Political Processes

Professor of Sociology
8116a Sewell Social Sciences
(608) 262-8206
Office Hours: R 3-4:30 (F'16)

Selected Publications:

Ruling Oneself Out. A Theory of Collective Abdication. Duke University Press. "Politics, History and Culture" series. April 2008

2012 Lewis A. Coser Award for Theoretical Agenda Setting (American Sociological Association, Theory Section)
2010 European Academy of Sociology Best Book Award
2009 Barrington Moore Best Book Award (American Sociological Association, Comparative and Historical Sociology Section)

Pour une microhistoire de la Shoah [Microhistory of the Holocaust], Le Genre Humain, Paris, Seuil, September 2012, 52, co-edited with Claire Zalc, Tal Bruttman, and Nicolas Mariot.


"The Structure of Contingency," American Journal of Sociology, July 2015, 121(1): 64-125.

"Exceptional Cases: Epistemic contributions and Normative Expectations," The European Journal of Sociology, November 2014, 55:(2): 223-243.

"Rational Choice may take over," pp.89-107 in Bourdieu and Historical Analysis, edited by Philip Gorski, Duke University Press. 2013.

"Patrimony and collective capacity. An Analytical Outline," Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, July 2011, 636: 182-203.

"Theory of Practice, Rational Choice and Historical Change," Theory and Society, August 2010, 39: 527-553.

"Motives and Alignment," Social Science History, Special Section: Politics, Collective Uncertainty, and the Renunciation of Power, Spring 2010, 34(1): 97-109.

"Patrimonial Rise and Decline. The Strange Case of The Familial State," September 2008, Political Power and Social Theory, 19: 255-273.

"Strukturelle Zwänge und zufällige Geschehnisse" [Structural Constraints and Incidental Happenings], March 2001, Geschichte und Gesellschaft, Sonderheft 19: Struktur und Ereignis, pp. 224-256.

"Prelates and Princes: Aristocratic Marriages, Canon Law Prohibitions and Shifts in Norms and Patterns of Domination in the Central Middle Ages." July 1997. American Sociological Review. 62:405-422.

Departmental Areas of Interest:
Class Analysis and Historical Change
Comparative-Historical Sociology
Economic Sociology
General Social Theory
Organizational and Occupational Analysis
Political Sociology
Social Movements and Collective Behavior


Research Interest Statement:
My research agenda is centered on transition processes and collective situations in which individuals are confronted with decisions that challenge their sense of self-interest, preservation or identity. I have been investigating aristocrats facing new matrimonial regulations in Europe in the central middle ages, parliamentarians confronted with the prospect of their own collective abdication, political leaders devising strategies of political survival and/or democratic consolidation in times of democratic crisis, and civil servants confronted with the task of enforcing inhumane policies. In these different instances, to identify collective processes and reconstruct the specifics of the relevant empirical cases, I draw on multifaceted tools of analysis—formal, quantitative and hermeneutic—applied to a variety of historical sources. This approach combines historical research with a set of methods geared to probing the empirical soundness of hypotheses that can be transposed to different times and places.