Perpetrator Studies Network


26 - 27 June 2024

PSN Conference 2024: Reflections on the Boundaries of Perpetrator Studies: Looking at Violence, Politics, and Harm

June 26 and 27, 2024

Université Libre de Bruxelles

Campus Solbosh, Building U, Entrance D, Room: 6.203 (UB6.203)

Research in the field of Perpetrator Studies is navigating between the study of “perpetration”, and the criticism of the very label of “perpetrator” as a limited and ambiguous category. Caught between what might be considered as antagonistic expectations (i.e., the parallel exploitation and problematization of their object of study), researchers in the field of Perpetrator Studies face epistemological challenges that can be common or divergent across disciplines yet end up having consequences on the framing of the global social issues they tackle.

In this context, this conference explores theoretical and methodological questions, including the ethical and moral implications of the researcher’s position regarding the analysis of “perpetrators” and “perpetration”; how such positions vary according to disciplinary backgrounds, and the difficulties that it entails in terms of collaboration in research. We will focus on reflecting on the boundaries of perpetrator studies, discuss topics that are not often thought of in the field of Perpetrator Studies, and reflect on new directions for the field.

Organizing Committee:

Dr. Margaux Coquet, Université de Luxembourg.

Dr. Ellen Van Damme, Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Pr. Damien Scalia, Université Libre de Bruxelles.

Wednesday 26th June

Panel 1: At the Frontiers of Criminalization: Highlighting the Ambivalent Relationships Between Criminal Law and Colonization.

Panel 2: At the Frontiers of Perpetrators: Questioning the Differential Apprehension of the Individuals Concerned by Mass Criminality.

Thursday 27th June

Panel 3 – At the Frontiers of Perpetration: Rethinking the Definitions and Dynamics of Participation.

Panel 4 – At The Frontiers of Perpetrator Studies: Shifting the Perspective from Legal Categories to Individual Stories.

The conference is free of charge, but please register before June 1, 2024 by sending an email to