Call for Papers: When Hurting Helps

The Role of Well-Being in Engagement with, and Desistance from, Collective Wrongdoing

Important Dates

  • February 28, 2014: deadline to submit abstracts for preliminary feedback on suitability
  • April 30, 2014: deadline for complete paper submission
  • July 1, 2014: first-round decision letters delivered
  • October 31, 2014: revisions due
  • December 31, 2014: final decisions

Special Issue Co-Editors

  • Winnifred R. Louis
  • Catherine E. Amiot
  • Emma Thomas


It is well-documented that harm-doing is painful for the victims, in work ranging from minority stress (e.g., Meyer, 1995) to genocide (e.g., Staub, 2001).

This special issue brings a new focus on perpetrators, aiming to illuminate the association between their harm-doing and their well-being, and the processes through which people engage and disengage from harm-doing.

We welcome studies on perpetrators of harm-doing at all levels, including both intergroup (racists, hate criminals, soldiers, extremist groups) and interpersonal harm-doing (domestic violence, gang violence, feuding).

We are open to qualitative and quantitative research, and to survey, experimental, and longitudinal studies.

The special issue aims to focus not on predicting harm-doing per se, but either on the association between harm-doing and well-being (Trauma : Desensitisation: Sadism : Anguish); or on how people come to question and disengage from their own harm-doing (the processes through which people exit from harm-doing; Deradicalisation : Reintegration : Reconciliation : Reparation: Rehabilitation: Recidivism), or both.

Particularly welcome are those contributions which develop process accounts (e.g. trajectories) of engagement in and desistance from, harm-doing.

This topic will attract interdisciplinary writers and audiences.

Alongside empirical papers, we welcome a short analytic review format in which authors briefly review how the questions have been approached within a discipline or subdiscipline and conclude by highlighting 1–3 core challenges or themes. These reviews should be written to be accessible to readers from diverse psychological and social scientific backgrounds. They should be no more than 20 manuscript pages including references.

We open to authors who might represent social psychological, sociological, criminological, terrorism, political science, and clinical perspectives, for example.

An article which reviews a discipline or subdiscipline and puts forward a novel theoretical advance in the context of highlighting the core challenges or themes of the subdiscipline is very welcome. However, theory pieces which focus exclusively on a particular theoretical position or model within a subdiscipline may be too narrow for this special issue.

Abstracts (250–500 words) may be submitted at any point until February 28, 2014 to receive preliminary feedback on suitability.

Complete papers are due April 30, 2014.

Pre-approval of an abstract is not required to submit a manuscript.

All submitted papers will undergo the journal's regular peer review if evaluated by the Guest Editors and Editor as appropriate for the special issue and the journal.

Manuscripts (typically 5,000––8,000 words) should be submitted electronically in accordance with the Instructions to Authors and submitted through the Manuscript Submission Portal.

Please note in your cover letter that you are submitting for the special issue.

Inquiries regarding topic or scope for the special issue or for other manuscripts can be sent to Winnifred R. Louis, Catherine E. Amiot, and Emma Thomas.

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