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How Does the State Restore Order During Crisis? Lessons from the UK’s Response to the “Riots” Of August 2011

Morrell, K; Heracleous, L; Fuller, C; Bradford, B; (2021) How Does the State Restore Order During Crisis? Lessons from the UK’s Response to the “Riots” Of August 2011. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science , 57 (1) pp. 80-103. 10.1177/0021886320953848. Green open access

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Abstract

We use speech act theory to study the U.K. 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 analyze 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 show how Members of Parliament framed the disorder and participants in ways that supported the reestablishment of norms and of order; principally through homogenization, in a process we describe as “tidying.”

Type: Article
Title: How Does the State Restore Order During Crisis? Lessons from the UK’s Response to the “Riots” Of August 2011
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1177/0021886320953848
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1177/0021886320953848
Language: English
Additional information: https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/) which permits non-commercial use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (https://us.sagepub.com/en-us/nam/open-access-at-sage).
Keywords: change, crisis, disorder, parliament, riot, speech act
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10107826
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