SA4N8 Half Unit
Riots, Disorder and Urban Violence
This information is for the 2018/19 session.
Tim Newburn (OLD 240a)
This course is available on the LLM (extended part-time), LLM (full-time), MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in International Social and Public Policy, MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Development), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Migration), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Non-Governmental Organisations), MSc in Social Policy (Research) and University of Pennsylvania Law School LLM Visiting Students. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.
Some familiarity with sociology and/or criminology would be an advantage, but is not a formal prerequisite. Anyone unfamiliar with criminology can find a full introduction to the subject in: Newburn, T. (2017) Criminology, London: Routledge, 3rd Edition.
This course focuses on urban or collective violence, or what more colloquially tend to be referred to as 'riots'. The course will consider the various approaches that have been taken to this subject - via history, psychology and sociology - and, focusing on particular examples, the course will examine some of the core issues in the field including: the causes of riots; psychological versus sociological explanations; the role of race/ethnicity; the impact of traditional and new social media on the nature and organisation of rioting; the role and changing nature of the policing of urban disorder; and how riots might be understood both historically and comparatively.
15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT.
There was strong and consistent feedback from students this year (the first year of the course) to increase the lecture time from 60 minutes to 90 minutes (in line with a number of other taught MSc modules in Social Policy).
Students will be required to write and submit two pieces of formative coursework for assessment and peer feedback. The first will be an essay outline - in effect an outline of a answer to a potential examination question, including a full introductory paragraph. The second will be an outline of their intended case study. Both pieces of formative coursework will be shared via Moodle and all students will be encouraged to offer constructive feedback to each other as well, of course, as receiving feedback from the course director. Peer feedback will be utilised as a means of encouraging a degree of group work and collective endeavour among course participants.
Baldassare, M. (1995) The Los Angeles Riots: Lessons for the Urban Future, Boulder: CO
Bergenson, A. and Herman, M. (1998) Immigration, race and riot: The 1992 Los Angeles uprising, American Sociological Review, 63, 1, 39-54
Body-Gendrot, S. and Savitch, H.V. (2012) Urban violence in the United States and France: comparing Los Angeles (1992) and Paris (2005), in John, P., Mossberger, K. and Clarke, S.E. (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Urban Politics, Oxford: Oxford University Press
Katz, M.B. (2008) Why don’t American cities burn very often? Journal of Urban History, 34, 2, 185-208
Moran, M. and Waddington, D. (2016) Riots: An International Comparison, Palgrave: Macmillan
Newburn, T. (2015) The 2011 English riots in recent historical perspective, British Journal of Criminology, 55, 1, 375-392
Reicher, S. (1996) The Crowd century: Reconciling practical success with theoretical failure, British Journal of Social Psychology, 35, 535-53
Tilly, C. (2003) The Politics of Collective Violence, New York: Cambridge University Press
Thompson, E. P. (1971). The moral economy of the English crowd in the eighteenth century, Past & Present, 50, 76-136
Wacquant, L. (2007) Urban Outcasts: A comparative sociology of urban marginality, Cambridge: Polity Press
Abu-Lughod, J.L. (2007) Race, Space and Riots in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, New York: Oxford University Press
Body-Gendrot, S. (2013) Urban violence in France and England: comparing Paris (2005) and London (2011), Policing and Society, 23, 1, 6-25
della Porta, D. (1995) Social Movements, Political Violence and the State, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Gilje, P.A. 1996) Rioting in America, Bloomington: Indiana University Press
Mason, P. (2013) Why It’s Still Kicking Off Everywhere, London: Verso
Newburn, T., Cooper, K., Deacon, R. and Diski, R. (2015) ‘Shopping for Free’? Looting, consumerism and the 2011 riots, British Journal of Criminology, 55 (5): 987-1004
Reicher, S. (1996) ‘The Battle of Westminster’: developing the social identity model of crowd behaviour in order to explain the initiation and development of collective conflict, European Journal of Social Psychology, 26, 115-134
Scarman, Lord Justice (1982) The Brixton Disorders, Harmondsworth: Penguin
Waddington, D., Jones, K. and Critcher, C. (1989) Flashpoints: Studies in Public Disorder, London: Routledge
Waddington, D. and King, M. (2005) The disorderly crowd: From classical psychological reductionism to socio-contextual theory – The impact on public order policing strategies, Howard Journal, 44, 5, 490-503
Exam (50%, duration: 2 hours, reading time: 15 minutes) in the summer exam period.
Coursework (40%) and presentation (10%).
The coursework (40%) will comprise a single summative essay offering an analytical case study of a modern riot and the presentation (10%) will comprise a poster presentation at an end of term mini academic conference.
Student performance results
|Classification||% of students|
Department: Social Policy
Total students 2017/18: 16
Average class size 2017/18: 13
Controlled access 2017/18: Yes
Lecture capture used 2017/18: Yes (LT)
Value: Half Unit
Personal development skills
- Team working
- Problem solving
- Application of information skills
Course survey results
(2016/17 combined)1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score
The scores below are average responses.
Response rate: 87%
Reading list (Q2.1)
Course satisfied (Q2.4)