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Analysing the present from a critical criminology perspective: pre-crime and post-criminology? Call for Papers

The Department of Law and Society at the Vienna Institute for Criminology and the Sociology of Law, the Department of Human Geography at Goethe University Frankfurt and the Working Group of Young Criminologists are delighted to invite papers to be presented at an international interdisciplinary conference on the critique of the state, law and security. The conference will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Kriminologisches Journal as the leading critical criminology journal published in the German language:

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Vienna, December 10-12 2009


The assumption that it is the state’s duty to protect its citizens’ security has been critiqued by criminologists and scholars from other disciplines in a variety of manners from differing perspectives. While these critical approaches still hold pertinence and relevance, they have themselves become the subject of a critique for not being able to grasp developments that are being discussed under labels such as risk and prevention. Approaches that focus on risk and prevention argue that the state’s pursuit of security by maintaining law and order has been complemented by state and private actors who act and respond by employing techniques which are situated before or beyond the spheres of crime and law. Subsequently, research in critical criminology has been widened in its topics of research and its theories. Rather than trying to define a new coherent critical criminology, and being fully aware that this task has to remain incomplete, we aim to develop an inventory of analysis of the present. In order to do so, we aim to bring together students and scholars from various disciplines who are concerned with the questions how and why the state, law and security are being transformed and how these processes can be critiqued. In this context, participants will discuss the potential of critical criminological research to analyse the present and ask which steps might have to be taken to develop it in an interdisciplinary exchange.


Papers are invited to address one or more of the following topics or concepts: state, law, security and critique. Four keynote presentations will open the panel sessions. Wolf-Dieter Narr (Free University Berlin) will give his keynote on critique, Marc Neocleous (Brunel University) on the state, Mariana Valverde (University of Toronto) on law and Lucia Zedner (Oxford University) on security. Following the keynotes, two or three parallel sessions will be held with paper presentations and discussion. We welcome both theoretical papers and research reports by graduate students, PhD students and junior and senior scholars. We also welcome ideas for panel sessions that consist of three papers from different working backgrounds on a theme. The conference is open for all disciplines. Conference languages are English and German.


Please submit an abstract of no more than 1,000 characters (including spaces) on https://www.umfragen.uni-frankfurt.de/KrimJ40 until June 30. Up to ten younger scholars without any institutional affiliation or a possibility to get funding from their institutions can be reimbursed up to 100 Euros of their travel and accommodation costs. Please apply for this reimbursement with your abstract submission. A selection of papers will be included in a bilingual edition of the Kriminologisches Journal Book Series.