School of Law

Psychology, Policing and the Politics of Riot

04 December 2013 | 17:00-18:30 | Seminar
G.32 Liberty Building

Psychology, Policing and the Politics of Riot

Dr Clifford Stott

Riots and protests across the world have already marked out the start of the twenty first century as another ‘age of the crowd’. The Arab Spring, the widespread ‘riots’ in England, Sweden and more recently in Turkey and Brazil all reflect obvious and widespread disaffection about the nature of our social world.

However, despite the obvious links between ‘riots’ and social context, the explanatory narratives disseminated by powerful groups tend to draw upon outdated theoretical models that decontextualize and reify the ‘riot’ as an aberrant intrusion.

In contrast, this presentation will discuss developments in social psychological understanding of the nature of 'riots', and the impact of this science upon recent reforms in policing; particularly those in the UK following the death of Ian Tomlinson during the 2009 ‘G20’ protests in London.

The talk will then provide a commentary on the 2011 ‘riots’ in order to highlight the inadequacy of the hegemonic discourses that surrounded them. The talk will conclude by exploring the implications of a ‘social identity analysis’ for understanding how to prevent riots and will raise questions about how and why powerful groups are so easily able to assert their own ideological versions of these powerful episodes of collective conflict.

For further information please email or call 0113 343 1908. 

Location Details

G.32 Liberty Builiding (on the western campus)

The School of Law
The Liberty Building
University of Leeds

The Liberty Building is number 16 on the campus map.

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