Photo of Nestar Russell

Nestar Russell

Pronouns: he/him


Contact information

Web presence

Preferred method of communication



Educational Background

B.Sc. Psychology, Victoria University of Wellington, 1997

M.A. Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington, 2000

Ph.D. Public Policy, Victoria University of Wellington, 2009



I am originally from New Zealand and came to Canada in 2011 as a Commonwealth/Canadian Government postdoctoral scholar. My research interests include Stanley Milgram's Obedience Studies, perpetrator behaviour during the Holocaust, state crime, organizational malevolence, responsibility avoidance and climate change, business graffiti, and the social construction of crime.

My PhD thesis (2009) was published as a two-volume book titled Understanding Willing Participants: Milgram's Obedience Experiments and the Holocaust (Springer Nature). In the past I have published articles in scholarly outlets including the Canadian Journal of Sociology, British Journal of Social Psychology, Journal of Social Issues, State Crime Journal, and the American Review of Public Administration. All my publications have been heavily influenced by the sociology of Norbert Elias.


Course number Course title Semester
SOCI325 Introduction to Deviance and Social Control
SOCI421 Special topics in Crime and Deviance: Genocide and Terrorism
SOCI327 Introduction to Criminal Justice
SOCI425 The Sociology of Violence


  • Can Norbert Elias’ Civilizing Process Account for Modern Western State Violence? . Russell, N. J. C.. Long-Term Processes in Human History: A Tribute to Johan Goudsblom, Amsterdam, 19 March. The Trippenhuis, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), Kloveniersburgwal 29, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. . (2022)
  • Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority Experiments and Norbert Elias’s Civilizing Process: A Disconcerting Connection to the Holocaust. . Russell, N. J. C. . Social Psychology and the Holocaust Conference: Re-Reading Milgram (Toulouse University).. (2021)
  • Warfare and Norbert Elias’s Figurational Sociology . Russell, N. J. C. . ISA XIX World Congress of Sociology panel on “Warfare, Distance and Civilizing Processes” (Toronto, Canada). Paper accepted but unable to attend.. (2018)
  • The Milgram—Holocaust Linkage: A Comparative Analysis. Session: Violence in Comparative and Historical Perspective.. Russell, N. J. C. . Canadian Sociological Association Annual Meeting, Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB, 02 June.. (2016)
  • Recall the Milgram Experiments! Why ‘Obedience to Authority’ Represents Faulty Labeling. . Lutsky, N. & Russell, N. J. C. . Obedience to Authority Conference, Nipissing University, Bracebridge, ON, Canada. (2013)
  • The Milgram-Holocaust Linkage: A Dialectical Excursion into the “Banality of Evil”. . Russell, N. J. C. . Joint Meeting of Cheiron and the European Society for the History of the Human Sciences (ESHSS), Dawson College, Montreal, PQ.. (2012)
  • Homicide in New Zealand 1988 – 1994: Patterns and Relationships. . Miller, I. & Russell, N. J. C. . 11th Annual Conference of the Australian and New Zealand Society of Criminology, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand.. (1996)
  • Book review of Gina Perry’s (2012) “Behind the Shock Machine: The Untold Story of the Notorious Milgram Psychology Experiments." . Russell, N. J. C., & Picard, J. G.. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences. 49(2), 221-223. (2012)
  • Book review of Alex Alvarez’s (2010) Genocidal Crimes: Key Ideas in Criminology. . Russell, N. J. C.. State Crime Journal . 1(1), 153-56.. (2012)
  • The making of a shocking and (in)famous experiment. . Russell, N. J. C. . The Psychologist. 23(9), 780-782.. (2010)
  • Of Babies and Bathwaters: A Response to Brannigan and Perry. . Russell, N. J. C., & Gregory, R. J. . State Crime Journal. (2017)