Drury, J, Stott, C, Ball, R, Barr, D, Bell, L, Reicher, S and Neville, F (2021) How riots spread between cities: Introducing the police pathway. Political Psychology. ISSN 0162-895X

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Waves of riots are politically and psychologically significant national events. The role of police perceptions and practices in spreading unrest between cities has been neglected in previous research, even though the police are significant actors in these events. We examined the role of police interventions in the spread of rioting to one English city in August 2011 by triangulating multiple data sources and analysing police accounts and community participant interviews. Rioting in other cities had relatively little direct influence in the community, but led to heightened vigilance in the police. The resultant police mobilization inadvertently created a large gathering in a local community with a history of hostile relations with police. Police attempts to disperse the crowd affected many more people than those originally intending to riot, leading to collective conflict. These findings support a new theoretical account of the role of policing in riot spread. Complementing existing accounts of diffusion, our study helps explain how self-fulfilling prophecy can operate to spread conflict between cities.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Uncontrolled Keywords: riots; social identity; social influence; empowerment; police; civil unrest
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HS Societies secret benevolent etc
H Social Sciences > HT Communities. Classes. Races
H Social Sciences > HV Social pathology. Social and public welfare
H Social Sciences > HX Socialism. Communism. Anarchism
Divisions: Faculty of Natural Sciences > School of Psychology
Depositing User: Symplectic
Date Deposited: 15 Sep 2021 12:02
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2022 11:26
URI: https://eprints.keele.ac.uk/id/eprint/9962

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