Call for Papers - The law of the outlaw: Law and order in, with, and beyond criminal groups


This Special Issue of the Swiss Journal of Sociocultural Anthropology (SJSCA) seeks to interrogate the relation between law and different types of criminal and criminalized groups in a reflexive and holistic manner. More specifically, potential contributions will explore the relationship between criminal groups and the law in at least three different ways: (1) the law within criminal groups, (2) the law of criminal groups within the local communities in which they are embedded, (3) and the relations between criminal groups’ law and the state’s law.
The first issue pertains to the presence of a body of rules, norms or laws, whether systematized or not, within criminal groups. How do criminal groups regulate their members, create order and deal with internal conflict?
The second aspect focuses on the ways criminal societies establish order within the communities they are part of. While it is well established that criminal societies are perpetrators of disorder and violence, they can also impose a sense of order and rules to be followed by community members. What is the basis of this “criminal governance”? How is it negotiated locally?
Finally, the third element explores the ways criminal groups’ laws interact, oppose, or enter into dialogue with the laws of the state. Are criminal groups’ laws necessarily opposed to state laws? Do they interact and sometimes go in the same direction? How are criminal groups’ laws fashioned by state laws? Conversely, are state laws influenced by criminal societies?

See full Call for Papers

Submissions can be written in either English, French, or German, and should follow the Swiss Journal of Sociocultural Anthropology/Revue Suisse d’Anthropologie Sociale et Culturelle submission guidelines (

Abstracts should be first submitted by email to the guest editors ( & by 30 April 2022, for feedback within two weeks.

Full articles should be submitted for peer review via the Swiss Journal of Sociocultural Anthropology/Revue Suisse d’Anthropologie Sociale et Culturelle website ( by 15 July 2022.

The special issue is schedule for publication in April 2023.