The “Kriminologisches Journal” (KrimJ) is a quarterly scientific journal which is published by Beltz-Juventa. The journal features original scientific articles, discussion papers, practice and research reports on criminological theory and practice in German and English language. The thematic focus is on critical approaches to the structures and measures of social control bodies. All manuscripts undergo selective editorial and peer-review assessment prior to acceptance for publication. The peer-review process is strictly anonymous.

The “Kriminologisches Journal” is available both in print and online. Single issues and subscriptions are available at Beltz Juventa.

Issue 4/2022



Special Issue "Defund the Police"











Desistance-Forschung, Kritische Kriminologie und die Praxis der Straffälligenhilfe. Editorial zum Themenheft (German)

Defund the Police. Ambivalences of a Movement

Jenny Künkel & Marie-Theres Piening

The Black Lives Matter movement put police violence and abolitionist solutions on the agenda worldwide. The heterogeneous movement, which oscillates between criticism of “racial capitalism” (Robinson) and “philanthro capitalism” (Mayer), also interprets the central demand, “Defund the Police!”, in different ways: A “Defund light” replaces police with social work; perspectives focusing causes and labeling processes call for decriminalization and (re‑)funding of public services; abolitionist interpretations focus on a transformation of society as a whole, including anti-capitalist transformation. This promotes intersectionality and interdisciplinarity and revives the analysis of anti-racist, decolonial and anti-sexist forms of dealing with violence and infraction of norms. However, activist discourses in particular are only partially intersectionalized – along the lines of an increased perception of capital accumulation as co-constitutive of racialization. However, tendencies that run counter to abolitionism in the field of sexual violence, which is often one-dimensionally interpreted as a gender issue, remain unaddressed.

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Full papers

Defunding und Rechtsstaat. Über die (rechts-)politischen Strategien im Umgang mit rassistischer Polizeigewalt (German)

Defunding and rule of law – on the (legal) political strategies in dealing with racist police violence

Maximilian Pichl

The Black Lives Matter movement reinitialized the global debate about a fundamental reform of police forces. One of their aims is to withdraw resources from the police apparatus (defunding). In contrast to this approach, actors from traditional civil rights movements pursue the goal of a strict binding of the police to the rule of law. Reconstructing theoretical discussions of how national racism is institutionalized in the police, the article asks for the immanent limits of a rights-based approach and the defunding-strategy, but also for their progressive possibilities.Based on this, the paper shows why it is politically promising to understand both strategies as productive additions.

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Polizei abschaffen? Schon geschehen! (German)

Abolish the Police? Already done!

Fabien Jobard

Preceding the Black Lives Matter movement, which put the issue on the public agenda, by a few years, Alex Vitale’s “The End of Policing” (2017) gave theoretical impetus to the issue of police abolition. The abolition of the institution of policing, envisaged by Vitale from the United States, would promise to break with this institution created for the benefit of the dominant, exercising its prerogatives with abuse of force and racial discrimination, without even its promises (fighting crime, providing relief, ...) ever having been fulfilled. This article does not question the validity of such a project. In an effort to historicise and provincialize the police issue, the article suggests that the police is a rarer and more precarious institution than it appears, and thus shows the faces that societies have taken in our history or that they take today elsewhere than in the West when they have no police, or so few. As a promise of a new world, would not a society without police be our own world?

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Stromaufwärts. Community Policing und Community Accountability im Oglala Sioux Tribe (German)

Upstream – Community Policing and Community Accountability of the Oglala Sioux Tribe

Sonja John

In the 1970s, residents of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation disposed of the repressive external police force. It was replaced by the Department of Public Safety which is supposed to align its work with traditional Lakota values of respectful and inclusive relationship building. This article analyzes this process based on secondary literature and expert interviews. It argues that the Lakota concept of community can inform the development and democratization of community policing and community accountability practices.

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Book Reviews

Adam Elliott-Cooper: Black Resistance to British Policing (Thompson)


Daniel Loick & Vanessa E. Thompson (Hg.): Abolitionismus. Ein Reader (Weißbach)


Cedric Johnson: The Panthers Can’t Save Us Now. Debating Left Politics and Black Lives Matter (John)


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Open-Access publications

Open Access publications

From issue 1/2022 onwards all English-language papers published in the Kriminologisches Journals will be made available as open access papers. The papers can be downloaded from the publisher's homepage or via content-select. Additionally the download links can be found if you click on the respective issues.

German papers can also be published via open access within the framework of the usual conditions of our publisher Beltz Juventa.

Changes on the Editorial Board

New editors-in-chief of the Kriminologisches Journal

As of Issue 2/2021the position of editor-in-chief passed over from Meropi Tzanetakis to Christine Graebsch and Jens Puschke.

Drugs and Digital Technologies

Call for Abstracts for a special issue of the KrimJ

Illicit drug markets are undergoing a significant transformation: digital technologies have a profound influence on how illicit drugs are accessed, and they have also changed information- sharing about drugs. In addition, the proliferation of information and communication technologies has changed law enforcement activity. Digitalisation also comes with rapid changes in communicative environments across time and geographic location. While online forums and other internet resources have massively increased the amount of available information and discourse on psychoactive substances for more than two decades, mobile phones, encrypted platforms, cryptocurrencies, social media and messaging applications have recently diversified the ways in which illicit drugs are distributed. This diversity includes hybrid forms of distribution, e.g. using social media applications to make physical appointments.


New Editorial Board

New Editors of the Kriminologisches Journal

As of January 1st 2021 the Editorial Board of the Kriminologisches Journal consists of Prof. Dr. Jens Puschke LL.M, Dr. Meropi Tzanetakis, Dr. Simon Egbert, Prof. Dr. Christine Graebsch, Prof. Dr. Dörte Negnal und Dr. Bernd Werse.