CFP: Approaching Perpetrators: Insights on Ethics, Methods, and Theory (Deadline: October 31, 2015)

Call for Chapters
Approaching Perpetrators: Insights on Ethics, Methods, and Theory
Deadline: Extended to October 31, 2015

Editors: Kjell Anderson, Netherlands Institute for War, Holocaust, and Genocide Studies, & Erin Jessee, University of Strathclyde

Although much has been written about the causes of genocide and similar mass atrocities, there are still significant gaps in our knowledge of perpetrators. While a range of studies have emerged over the past few decades that examine perpetrators’ motives and actions as represented in legal transcripts or through the narratives of survivors, for example, there is a relative paucity of studies that emerge from firsthand qualitative fieldwork with perpetrators themselves. Our volume will address this gap by bringing into conversation for the first time a selection of chapters on perpetrators of genocide and related mass atrocities based entirely on qualitative field research. As such, this volume will explore the personal, social, economic, political and historical contexts through which people from a range of backgrounds become perpetrators, and the theoretical insights that can be gained from engaging with perpetrators’ narratives, facilitating a more nuanced understanding of how genocide and related mass atrocities take shape within societies.

We invite papers, based on qualitative field research, that take a nuanced look at the pathways through which people become perpetrators, the process of perpetration, the effects of perpetration on perpetrators, and the challenges of dealing with perpetrators after atrocity.

Thematically we are particularly interested in papers which:

  • Involve new theoretical, methodological, and ethical insights
  • Consider lesser-known cases of genocide, broadly defined
  • Incorporate criminological, sociological, anthropological, and other social scientific approaches
  • Address the ethical and methodological dilemmas involved in conducting field work with perpetrators

Please send your abstract and a short 3-4 sentence biographical statement to: and by the October 1st deadline. Selected authors will be contacted by mid-November with instructions and a deadline for submitting polished first drafts of their chapters. The editors of the University of Wisconsin Press ‘Critical Human Rights’ series have expressed interest in publishing this edited volume.