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 1/2023



Special Issue "State Crime"










Full Paper

Staatskriminalität: Die Macht, das Recht und die Kriminologie (German)

State crime: Power, Law, and Criminology

 Aldo Legnaro

Criminology has taken a long time to develop a conception of state crime. In the article, I trace this process, as well as the emergence of international (criminal) law and its institutions that define state criminality in the first place. It becomes apparent that norms and institutions of international criminal law establish state law rather than international law, since their application is not possible without the consent of affected states. Law is thus largely at the mercy of state power, as evidenced by the Responsibility to Protect, the principle of international law, and the judicial handling of the Russian war against Ukraine. Beyond such criminologically relevant issues, climate policy, insofar as it is related to state crime, will be discussed as an example of a phenomenon to which criminology can contribute to the definition and analysis of state crime.

 Download via Content-Select


Making an honest buck on war. A biographical understanding of a legal “lord of war”, his banality, and the aspirational society

Yarin Eski

Arms dealers are considered morally corrupt and pure evil, often referred to as ‘merchants of death’ that exploit conflict, war and overall suffering, making money by selling arms and ammunition. This article is based on a biographic study of a legal arms dealer that has revealed there are often banal reasons at play to financially benefit from warfare legally (Eski 2022). A short criminological imagination of the arms trade in relation to war and state crimes shall be provided, followed by a concise methodological explanation of why criminological biographies matter, and why it should matter more in criminology. Then the biographee’s choices and motivations to be a professional arms dealer will be discussed, which revealed deeper narratives on current society’s “biography”, specifically the aspirational society’s. Finally, the conclusion on the interplay between an arms dealer’s biography and that of the aspirational society will be given.

Open Access

Download via Content-Select


Toward a Criminology of the Holocaust? A historical overview of “states of denial” to foster a criminological analysis of the Crime of the Century

Valeria Vegh Weis

Despite its still marginal position, state crime criminology has contributed to a criminological agenda that specifically deals with harms perpetrated by states and other powerful actors. Nevertheless, many relevant areas and topics within state crime research remain unexplored, including the study of the “crime of the century”. Indeed, although the Holocaust is often invoked as the paradigmatic case of state crime, little has been produced on the subject by criminologists – an urgent, unresolved task. This article aims at fostering this pending undertaking by engaging with a core notion developed within criminological studies: states of denial (Cohen 2001). This concept is deployed to analyse not only the period where crimes were committed but also the long-durée aftermath in Germany. Concerning the aftermath and based on Olick’s periodization (2013), the study particularly explores the role of the Allies and the (Western) Federal Chancellors in dealing with the atrocities of the past.

Altogether, this contribution, which builds upon the few criminological approaches to the study of the Holocaust (Friedrichs 2000; Karstedt 2010; Morrison 2013), is presented as a limited attempt towards the development of a “Criminology of the Shoah”. Such a criminology cannot only help overcome certain criminological myopia about a breaking point in the history of atrocity crimes but can also help set a strong basis for a broader criminological understanding of atrocities and the massive suffering and challenges that stemmed from them throughout time.

Open Access

Download via Content-Select


Discussion Paper

State Crime

Vincenzo Ruggiero

Definitions evolve and are often unable to catch up with the actions they attempt to describe. The following pages intend to convey the definitional uncertainty that surrounds state crime, its ever-changing nature and the permanent difficulties we encounter when trying to grasp its definite features.

Download via Content-Select



Zur Kontinuität von Lager und Gefängnis als Teil des Herrschaftsapparates (German)

On the continuity of camps and prisons as part of the apparatus of power

Helga Cremer-Schäfer

Download via Content-Select


In Discusson

Korruption und Staatskriminalität – Perspektiven der (Kritischen) Kriminologie (German)

Corruption and State Crime - Perspectives of (critical) criminology

Walter Fuchs & Dirk Lampe

Download via Content-Select



Download the Full Issue via Content Select


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.