Perpetrator Research

  • Timothy WilliamsEmail author
Living reference work entry


Perpetrator research has become an important sub-discipline of peace and conflict studies. It challenges researchers to try and understand conflict and violence not only from the less contentious perspectives of the victims or the analytically less entangled perspective of bystanders or outsiders but also from the viewpoint of those who planned and enacted the violence. Recent research on perpetrators has shifted its focus down the hierarchy to increasingly studying low-level perpetrators, engaging with these men and women across various different cases in order to try to understand their motivations for perpetration. Furthermore, perpetrator research focuses on perpetrators in post-violence societies, studying how they reintegrate into society, how transitional justice mechanisms deal with them, as well as how their actions are remembered societally and constructed in cultural representations of them. As such, perpetrator research attempts to untangle the various actions...

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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Political ScienceBundeswehr University MunichMunichGermany

Section editors and affiliations

  • Johanna Mannergren Selimovic
    • 1
  • Oliver Richmond
    • 2
  • Gëzim Visoka
    • 3
  1. 1.The Swedish Institute of International AffairsStockholmSweden
  2. 2.The University of ManchesterManchesterUK
  3. 3.Dublin City UniversityDublinIreland