Beyond the Riots: Sustainable Social Order, Urban Governance and Disorderly Elites

Academic Lead – Dr Stuart Lister – ( Leeds)

Awarded as part of the White Rose Social Science Doctoral Training Centre

Managing sustainable social order in ways that prevent social conflict, minimise harm, promote inter-group tolerance and enhance community and institutional resilience in the face of outbreaks of unrest constitute pressing challenges for national governments and local authorities. The summer „riots‟ of August 2011 inevitably brought more emphatic forms of disorder and wider urban unrest to the fore of public conversations, prompting new questions about why some locales experienced unrest whilst others appeared immune from what some feared to be a spreading phenomenon.

Our White Rose ESRC Studentship network will seek to broaden debates and conceptualisations of disorder to consider a number of salient sub-themes that inform the disorders and events of urban unrest as well as attempts to respond to and police them. The network will consider how order is conceived within the context of daily social and policy routines and how the responses to the summer 2011 riots may signal crisis responses to growing social retrenchment and aggressive welfare reforms. The impact of disequilibrium in the careful balance of order and disorder has been made manifest through changes in governance (such as housing policy, evolving policing responses to unrest and a crisis in legitimacy amongst social and political actors and institutions).

This network will examine these diverse responses and areas of enquiry and contribute to ongoing public and policy concerns about what contributed to apparently new forms of unrest and insecurity. The network will provide insights into the prevention of unrest and the promotion of peaceful social relations and inter-group tolerance by assembling an expert supervisory team and experienced network co-ordinators across the inter-disciplinary headings of sociology, social policy, criminology, law, housing studies and town and regional planning.

Network Projects

Policing Social Disorder and Urban Unrest

Principal Supervisor – Adam Crawford (Leeds)

Disorderly Elites: A Profile of Inverted Social Deviance

Principal Supervisor – Rowland Atkinson (York)

Housing Tenure and Urban Unrest

Principal Supervisor – John Flint (Sheffield)