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 3/2018


Issue 3/2018











Special Contributions in celebration of 50 years Kriminologisches Journal


Abschaffung der Gefängnisse (German)

Prison abolition

Sebastian Scheerer

When critical criminology emerged in Germany (in 1969), its prison discourse was strictly treatment oriented. In the 1980s, the dominance of abolitionist positions disappointed many practicioners, but contemporary prison trends give reason to believe that it might be both preferable and more realistic to abolish punitive segregation altogether than to improve the prison system up to a point where it can be said to meet the requirements of the Nelson Mandel rules, i.e., human rights standards.


Prävention. Praktiken, Kritiken und Leerstellen (German)

Prevention - practices, critiques, and blank spaces

Dirk Lampe

This article gives a short introduction into the history of prevention in Germany in the last four decades. Based on the description of selected debates and developments it is shown how prevention became the central strategy in crime fighting discourses and practices, which approaches to crime prevention are currently dominant, and which critiques and arguments against these prophylactic tendencies have been brought forward by (critical) criminologist. Drawing on the recent developments towards preemptive and Big Data-based prevention programs some blank spaces within the academic discourse on (crime) prevention are mentioned.


Punitivität (German)


Bernd Dollinger

Punitivity is an outstanding focus of criminology, particularly of its critical branch. It exacts analyses of political and institutional penal rationalitites, which have to be discussed time and again on a theoretical and empirical basis. These analyses have to locate themselves between the poles of in-depth analyses versus global assessments, and between local particularities of punishment versus all-encompassing transformations. Additionally, the question of normative (counter-)positioning has to be posed always anew.


Strafrecht (German)

Criminal Law

Jens Puschke

The present paper takes a look at the legal structure of German criminal law. Criminal law is described as an anachronism that nevertheless strengthens and expands its hegemonic position. More recently than ever, criminal law has been used as a means of solving social problems and as part of an extensive security architecture. It is critically presented how criminal law tends to include numerous areas of life. Connected to social perceptions of an alleged immediate and omnipresent danger it becomes part of a conception of prevention. Against this background, judicial and criminological research perspectives are examined.


Ausnahmezustände (German)

States of emergency

Andrea Kretschmann & Aldo Legnaro

States of Emergency are modes of governance: they make it possible to transform a democracy into a dictatorship, as is shown in historical examples, and in democracies they bring about comprehensive securitisation, which can, however, succeed even without a state of emergency. In any case, the democratic mode of government is changing, which proves the productivity of both the state of emergency and all measures of securitisation.

Discussion Papers

Kritik der Versicherheitlichung: Thesen zur (sozialwissenschaftlichen) Sicherheitsforschung (German)

Critique of securitization: Theses on (social science) security research

Jan Wehrheim

Security research as applied or basic research is part of what has been discussed in the social sciences as securitization. Four theses attempt to critically classify the ambivalent role of the social sciences in the interdisciplinary field of research.


Warum Leute wie Rainer Wendt nicht an der Universität sprechen sollten (German)

Why people like Rainer Wendt should not speak at universities

Bernd Belina

Based on a recent debate around a cancelled appearance by Rainer Wendt, chairman of the Deutsche Polizeigewerkschaft (DPolG - German Police Union), at Goethe University Frankfurt, it is argued why the decision to not let Rainer Wendt speak at the university was right.


Conference Reports

„Kriminologie des Visuellen. Ordnungen des Sehens und der Sichtbarkeit im Kontext von Kriminalitätskontrolle und Sicherheitspolitiken“. Bericht über die Tagung des Zentrums für interdisziplinäre Forschung der Universität Bielefeld und der Gesellschaft für interdisziplinäre wissenschaftliche Kriminologie vom 22.-23. März 2018 in Bielefeld (Thane)

„Kritische Kriminologie und Soziale Arbeit im Dialog“.Bericht über den Kriminologischen Fachtag der Hochschule für Angewandte Wissenschaften am 16. Mai 2018 in Hamburg (Kühne/Schlepper)



Book reviews

Svea Steckhan: Rauschkontrolleure und das Legalitätsprinzip. Polizeiliche Perspektiven zu Drogen und Drogenkriminalität (Maltsev)

Leon Hempel, Marie Bartels und Thomas Markwart: Aufbruch ins Unversicherbare. Zum Katastrophendiskurs der Gegenwart (Legnaro)



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.