Torture Research

About the Author

with 2 comments

I am an assistant professor at the School of Public Service at DePaul University. I have a Ph.D. in sociology (University of Virginia, 2006), and a master’s degree in International Affairs (Columbia University, 1994). From 1994 to 2003, I worked with torture survivors, first with the refugee resettlement program for Iraqi refugees in Saudi Arabia, then as a legal representative for asylum seekers, and then as an advocate for torture survivors in immigration detention. When I stopped helping torture survivors directly and went into academia, I decided to devote my time to understanding why torture occurs, with the goal of providing information that would help advocates and policy makers prevent torture.


I have two main publications on torture, which you can download from this website:

“Explaining Abu Ghraib: A Review Essay.” Journal of Human Rights, January 2009.

“The Fall and Rise of Torture: A Comparative and Historical Analysis.”

Sociological Theory, June 2007.

I am currently working on a study of the U.S. army’s use of torture during its war against Filipino nationalists in 1899-1902.

For an overview of how torture survivors are treated by the U.S. asylum system, see my book:

            The Mercy Factory:  Refugees and the American Asylum System. Chicago: Ivan R. Dee, 2001.

In addition to my work on torture, I do research on altruism, volunteering, and charitable giving. I have also written a historical biography.

Journal articles:

“Is Extensivity the Core of the Altruistic Personality?” Social Science Research, January 2010.

Chevalier, Jacqueline, and Christopher J. Einolf. “Sorority Membership and Risk for Campus Sexual Assault.” Violence Against Women, June 2009.

“Will the Boomers Volunteer During Retirement? Comparing the Baby Boom, Silent, and Long Civic Cohorts. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, April 2009.

“Empathic Concern and Prosocial Behaviors: A Test of Experimental Results Using Survey Data.” Social Science Research, December 2008.


            George Thomas: Virginian for the Union. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2007. 

            Thomas was a Virginia-born slave owner and career military officer, who sided with the Union during the Civil War. The experience of commanding African-American troops caused him to change his views on race, and he became a leader in the fight against the Ku Klux Klan after the war.


Written by tortureresearch

February 2, 2010 at 10:13 pm

2 Responses

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  1. Dear Professor Einoff:

    I was delighted to receive your notice on this splendid website. The questions about torture are of great interest to me too, along with some other dimensions of political repression.

    I am glad you are studying the repression of the U.S. in the Phillipine Insurection. It may have been our most harsh war in terms of methods relied upon.

    I even have some interest in George Thomas since I have been working on a development in the laws of war during the U.S. Civil War. Since retirement I have spent all my writing time finishing “Understanding International Law” with Wiley/Blackwell, a basic text. I gave considerable attention to humane concerns in my human rights and humanitarian law chapters.

    Again, thank you.

    Conway (USCUpstate, Professor Emeritus (ret)

    Conway Henderson

    May 7, 2010 at 6:10 pm

  2. This is a worthwhile project, since the literature (even if only in English) is widely scattered. Since you’ve done it yourself, I wonder (I only skimmed quickly) why no mention of the Copenhagen and other RCTs (I may have missed them). My strongest criticism of the legal memos given to Bush by Yoo and others was their ignoring the mountain of evidence freely available in Copenhagen and made available to me in 1984 by Inge Kemp Genefke. That might include psychological torture and also actions by para-military groups (or quasi-government actors), two categories you’ve excluded from your own useful definition. But I agree that physical punishment after guilt is established is not torture. The great problem is with definitions, of course.

    Ed Peters

    May 8, 2010 at 4:40 pm

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