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Focus and Scope

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. Crucially, one of the journal’s aims is to engage critically with the very concepts of “perpetrator” and “perpetration”.

The journal fosters scholarly discussions about perpetrators and perpetration across the broader continuum of political and mass violence without confining its attention to any particular geographical region or historical period. The journal's mission is to provide a forum for scholarship taking place across 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. JPR was created with the explicit aim of providing an inter- and cross-disciplinary space for the study of perpetrators and perpetration, including critical reflections on theories, methods, and approaches beyond, and between, and across disciplinary boundaries.

JPR not only addresses past and present issues related to perpetrators and perpetration. 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 participate in mass violence and how do their crimes unfold? What measures can be taken to identify potential perpetrators before they act, and prevent them from committing crimes? 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 for different audiences? 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 in different contexts internationally?

We seek innovative work on any aspect of the study of perpetrators and perpetration, both broader theoretical and methodological interventions into the field and work centering on more specific case studies and examples. Because of the journal’s interdisciplinary and global scope, all contributions should be written with an interdisciplinary and international readership in mind.

Publication Frequency

The journal is published twice a year, usually in the Spring and Autumn.

Open Access Policy

This journal provides immediate open access to its content on the principle that making research freely available to the public supports a greater global exchange of knowledge.

Archiving Policy

This journal utilizes the LOCKSS system to create a distributed archiving system among participating libraries and permits those libraries to create permanent archives of the journal for purposes of preservation and restoration.



The first issue of the Journal of Perpetrator Research (JPR) was published in 2017 after a two-year long gestation following the ‘Encountering Perpetrators of Mass Killings, Political Violence, and Genocide’ held at the University of Winchester. By providing a forum for established scholars and early career researchers, JPR aims to help in developing this emerging interdisciplinary field.

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