A System of Uneasy Cooperation

Denunciation is more pervasive than we think, yet remains poorly studied and understood. Using three case studies, Bergemann advances new hypotheses and helps shed light on this intriguing social phenomenon.

~ Stathis N. Kalyvas, author of The Logic of Violence in Civil War

We’ve been featuring  Judge Thy Neighbor: Denunciations in the Spanish Inquisition, Romanov Russia, and Nazi Germany, by Patrick Bergemann this week. From the Spanish Inquisition to Nazi Germany to the United States today, ordinary people have often chosen to turn in their neighbors to the authorities. In this book, Bergemann provides a theoretical framework for understanding the motives for denunciations in terms of institutional structures and incentives. In this excerpt from the section titles “A System of Uneasy Cooperation” from chapter four, Bergemann discusses the misuse of denunciations in Nazi Germany.

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