Perpetrator Studies Network

Journal of Perpetrator Research

The Journal of Perpetrator Research (JPR) is an interdisciplinary, peer-reviewed, open access journal committed to promoting the scholarly study of perpetrators and perpetration of political and mass violence, terrorism, and genocide. Its aim is to foster dialogue, across disciplines, on key issues currently discussed in perpetrator studies (issues such as methodology, theory, ethics, representation, etc.), as well as to engage critically with concepts such as “perpetrator” and “perpetration” and to explore the conditions which enable acts of collective (and) political violence.

JPR does not confine its attention to any particular geographical region or historical period – instead, it fosters scholarly discussions about perpetrators and perpetration across the broader continuum of political and mass violence. The journal’s mission is to provide a forum for scholarship taking place within a broad range of fields including history, criminology, law, forensics, sociology, anthropology, philosophy, psychology, political science, memory studies, cultural studies, literary studies, film and media studies, museum studies, and education. In providing an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary space, the journal moves academic research on perpetrators and perpetration beyond, and between, disciplinary boundaries.

JPR not only addresses issues related to perpetrators and perpetration in the past but also responds to present challenges. Fundamental questions informing the journal include, for example, questions of terminology, motivation, ideology, agency, processes and dynamics, as well as questions of prevention: Who or what is a perpetrator? How is such a label applied and by whom? How do such labels evolve? What drives people to commit acts of mass violence and genocide and how do these acts unfold? What measures can be taken to identify potential perpetrators before they act, and what can be done to prevent mass violence from occurring? What can be done to rehabilitate perpetrators after the fact? Another set of questions informing JPR pertains to the status and significance of the perpetrator as a discursive formation in legal, political, historical, philosophical, and cultural settings. How do societies come to terms with acts of perpetration and with the perpetrators themselves? What role does the figure of the perpetrator play in the popular imagination? How do representations of perpetrators change over time and across geographical and cultural boundaries as well as across different media, genres, and traditions? Finally, JPR is also interested in exploring questions of theory and method. What are the ethical and moral implications of studying perpetrators? How do ethical considerations influence the methodological and theoretical criteria of the inquiry? How does one address the inherent ambiguity, limitations, and contentiousness of labels such as “perpetrator,” and the strategic and political implications of their application? 

Please visit JPR at


The Journal of Perpetrator Research Editors in Chief

Dr Erin Jessee (University of Glasgow;
Dr Susanne C. Knittel (University of Utrecht;
Dr Emiliano Perra (University of Winchester;
Dr Uğur Ümit Üngör (NIOD and University of Amsterdam;