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About the Journal

Launched in 2004, Champ pénal/Penal Field is a free, open access electronic periodical. Multidisciplinary, it publishes robust contributions promoting the analysis of the sociological, political, historical and legal discourses, instruments and practices shaping the penal field.  Dedicated to bilingual publishing, it aims to facilitate an international academic dialogue; the journal accepts manuscript proposals and/or dossiers in either French or English.  It also sponsors an active translation policy of the texts/issues published on its site. It is now supported by the INSHS of the CNRS. The articles are to be sent to


Penal Field stands in solidarity with the strike initiated by French academic journals, in support of the inter-professional mobilisation against the pension reform project and the changes to public higher education and research announced by the French government.

We are a bilingual and international journal, as demonstrated by the composition of our executive and scientific committee. The present collective statement therefore aims to support the defense of rights whose status is challenged, in France as well as in other countries. This includes the working conditions and scientific autonomy in higher education and research.

As such, the normal course of the journal's activities is modified to contribute to the movement in various forms. This includes the collection and publication of testimonies of academics, in precarious and permanent positions, from different countries about ongoing trends in academia, that reflect broader structural changes. We will also participe in the development of common reflection and action with our colleagues from the other mobilised journals.

Current open issue
30 | 2023 (Open issue)

Publication history

Numéro ouvert le 10 février 2023

3 latest texts

Latest issue
26 | 2022
Résister aux pratiques policières et violences d'État

Resisting Police and State Violence
Edited by Magda Boutros, Paul Le Derff and Anthony Pregnolato
Illustration n° 26
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Credits: Anthony Pregnolato

The 2010s were marked by the increasing visibility of movements against police brutality across the world, from the Arab uprisings against police states, to the Black Lives Matter movement, to protests against police violence in France, Brazil, Nigeria, or Hong Kong. While the issue of “police violence” has been successfully raised (and become controversial) in the public debate, resistance to policing practices and state violence has received relatively little attention in the social sciences. The goal of this special issue is to understand what is at play when people contest police authority. We call for bridging several disciplinary sub-fields (sociology of the police, law, inequalities, social movements, and media) to better understand the logics of legitimation and delegitimation of the police, through three research axes: issues around framing the cause, the mobilization of law, and questions of opacity and visibility of police action. By examining diverse modes of resistance to policing practices in different contexts, the articles and interview in this special issue highlight the stakes, conflicts, and constraints involved in resisting policing and state violence, both in activist spaces and in the media, political, and judicial arenas. Thus, they highlight the logics that lead to contesting social relations of domination and denouncing their reproduction. The special issue also contributes to the production of knowledge and critical analyses on the police, through an examination of the discourses and practices of those who resist it.



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