CALL FOR PAPERS: The Power of Things: Exploring the Relationships Between Objects and Crime


For the Journal of Contemporary Crime, Harm, and Ethics

I and my colleagues are editing a journal special issue! If you are interested in criminology+objects, this is for you. We are really open to interesting (weird?) papers on this topic, as long as the criminological aspect is there. If you have questions, please get in touch but please do consider submitting.

See our snazzy call for papers here:

You can see details about submission here:

The Power of Things: Exploring the Relationships Between Objects and Crime

Edited by Donna Yates, Annette Hübschle, Simon Mackenzie, and Diāna Bērziņa

For this special issue for the Journal of Contemporary Crime, Harm, and Ethics, we invite contributions that take an “object-focused” approach to understanding aspects of crime deviance, and crime prevention. The goal of this issue is to bring discussion of the roles, influences, and power of things into the criminological mainstream.

The discipline of criminology has not ignored the material world. However, studies of the role that discrete ‘objects’ play in crime have largely been restricted to analyses of ‘hot’ objects in the practical field of situational crime prevention. These analyses may provide policy options for target hardening of commonly stolen goods, but they are deficient in their capacity to engage with the sophisticated socially constructed meanings and cultural/economic uses of objects. We are, however, inspired by recent work on atmosphere and affect in criminology and we wish to embed objects into that wider discussion.

With this issue, we hope to move our discussion of objects beyond functional analyses, towards considering how the meaningful relationships between people and things shape engagement with criminal activity, response to crime, and the experience of criminal justice. Definitions of all of these terms are necessarily broad to encourage a diverse and creative response to this call.

We are hoping to attract contributions that consider a wide bouquet of “objects” and “things” as they relate to crime, including but not limited to surveillance technologies, guns, cars, computer/IT systems/AI, fossils, wildlife and plants, fake medication, precious stones and minerals, buildings, facial reconstructions, photographs, NFTs, art, and likely many things we have not even considered. Research that focuses on broader concepts such as the materiality of crime and deviance is also welcome, as are contributions from parallel disciplines. We especially encourage contributions that consider theoretical issues in this area as well as contributions that discuss research methodologies or present empirical case studies.

Interested contributors are invited to contact Diāna Bērziņa at to see if their proposed submission adequately matches this thematic call for papers.

Deadline for full submissions will be 30 November 2022 and should be submitted via the ‘Make a New Submission’ link which can be found via the ‘Submission’ tab at the top of the journal webpage.