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Understand the London riots and their policing August 12, 2011

Posted by mwahlstrom in Collective violence, protest policing.
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The extensive rioting in London the last days has received considerable attention also in Swedish news media. As is inevitably the case when it comes to such complex and contested events, their meanings and explanations are not easily given justice in most news reports. Instead, all too often commentators fall back on simplified and heavily politically charged interpretations. Therefore it is commendable that the academic journal Society and space has quickly put together a virtual theme issue (open-access until October) with seven articles from its archives concerning urban disorder and policing.

Obviously none of the texts directly concern the last week’s events. Peer-revieved research articles illuminating the London riots of 2011 are not likely to be available until earliest 2013. However, the articles in the theme issue provide theoretical tools that should prove useful for understanding some important aspects of the urban disorders (and their policing) that we have seen in London, and of similar events in other European countries.

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