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How does the state restore order during crisis? Lessons from the UK's response to the "riots" of August 2011

Fuller, Crispian, Morrell, Kevin, Heracleous, Loizos and Bradford, Ben 2020. How does the state restore order during crisis? Lessons from the UK's response to the "riots" of August 2011. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science

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Abstract

We use Speech Act Theory to study the UK state’s response to large-scale public disorder across English cities in August 2011. This historical case has practical implications for understanding how nation states address other crises - because we explain in detail how the discourse of powerful state actors restores order. Drawing on parliamentary debate, Select Committee testimony, and interviews with police officers, our contribution is to describe and analyse how this happened contemporaneously at different levels. At street level, this involved the reassertion of sovereignty through territorial struggles by the police. At what we call “state level”, Speech Act theory helps us to show how Members of Parliament framed the disorder and participants in ways that supported the re-establishment of norms and of order; principally through homogenization, in a process we describe as “tidying”.

Item Type: Article
Status: In Press
Schools: Geography and Planning (GEOPL)
Publisher: SAGE Publications (UK and US)
ISSN: 0021-8863
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 17 August 2020
Date of Acceptance: 3 August 2020
Last Modified: 18 Aug 2020 13:30
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/134237

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