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 4/2017


Special Issue "Invariances of central Themes of Deviance"












Über das Selbstverständliche. Invarianzen der Devianzthematisierungen (German)

Self-evidences. Invariances of central themes of deviance

Helge Peters

It is the assumption of this essay that not all types of action are regarded as deviance with the same probability. In order to test this assumption social- and culture-anthropological texts are checked, in which deviance in premodern societies is described. The types of action which are regarded as deviance are registered. Taking in account in addition the types of action which are regarded as deviance in modern societies, it turns out, that murder/homicide, theft and incest are types of actions which are regarded very frequently as deviance - clearly more than probability suggests.


Irritationen, Kommentierungen und Kritik der Überlegungen von Helge Peters zu "Invarianzen der Devianzthematisierungen" (German)

Irritations and comments. A critique of Helge Peters “Self-evidences”

Helga Cremer-Schäfer

The note argues against the criticism offered by Helge Peters concerning studies clearing up the functions of crime and punishment in the process of economic, political and social domination. Instead of looking for universal invariance in defining rule-breaking as deviance, the note suggests to rather focus on continuities of social closure and social exclusion in the "bourgeois society". We are not able to reflect that categorization of human diversity and resistance simply by using a (variable) vocabulary of deviance, which is accompanied by the social production


Die wissenschaftliche Konstruktion von Invarianzen (German)

The scientific construction of invariances

Jan Wehrheim

Helge Peters refers in his article to potential invariances in the thematization of deviance. This paper argues that these invariances are presumably the product of interpretations by the different researchers. They can be read as a product of multistep categorizations which lead to a verbal homogenization of different issues.


Zum Papier "Über das Selbstverständliche" von Helge Peters (German)

About the paper “Self-evidences” by Helge Peters

Reinhard Kreissl

The paper takes a critical look at the concept of universal crime. Within a framework of societal evolution universal processes of societal reproduction can be identified, while types of behaviour, considered as crime are historically contingent. The analytical use-value of this shift from behaviour to social processes can be demonstrated when investigating the use of the social-cognitive contrast categories of conform/deviant in institutional settings for the reproduction of a society´s symbolic order, drawing on the work of G.H. Mead and R. Girard.


Devianz und Herrschaft. Auf der Suche nach universellen Devianzthematisierungen verloren gegangener Zusammenhänge (German)

Deviance and domination. The search for universal articulations of deviance and lost connections

Johannes Stehr

It is proposed to study the articulation of deviance in different societies not as a search for universal forms of articulations of deviance, but to consider the fundamental difference of articulations of deviance in acephalous and state societies. Conceptions of deviance in acephalous societies can be interpreted as resources through which the creation of domination can be prevented, while in state societies conceptions of deviance represent and reaffirm structures of domination.


Die Entdeckung des Selbstverständlichen - auf der Suche nach dem Mehrwert (German)

Discovering the obvious – in search of scientific benefits

Birgit Menzel

The comment objects to Helge Peters´ methodical as well as methodological considerations and questions the scientific benefits of the presented findings.


Punitive Universalien oder Kehrt die Kriminalbiologie zurück? (German)

Punitive universals – comeback of the biology of crime?

Rüdiger Lautmann

The idea of transcultural conditions for penalization reverts into sociological functionalism and natural law. It would be more convincing to explain penal legislation for specific proscriptions. This is shown for the Prussian law against homosexuality in the 19th century. It pretended to be without alternative yet it happened in a contingent way.


Kaum Treffer (German)

Nearly no hits

Helge Peters

Reactions to the comments




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.