The riots of summer 2011: Seminar organised by the Campaign for Social Science

An audience of policy makers, think tanks and academics enjoyed a wide spectrum of views and insights into the events of summer 2011 in English towns and cities, as they gathered at Gresham College, London on 13th October 2011.


A podcast of the event will be available here shortly. Links to slide presentations (where used) are included next to the speakers’ names below.

The riots of August 2011 took the nation by surprise. Much was said at the time by journalists, politicians and pundits who tried to explain why the riots happened. This event, organised by the Campaign for Social Science, brought together leading experts from a wide spectrum of social science disciplines to offer their perspectives on the riots and offer possible ways forward.

The day focused on three themes (read the separate posts by clicking on the links below):

The conference was generously sponsored by the social science publishers Routledge and SAGE, with their social science blogging platform, , and by the Institute of Community Cohesion.

Some Further Reading

  • Contemporary Social Science: the journal of the Academy of Social Sciences – Special Issue on ‘Crowds’ forthcoming November 2011. website
  • Jon Silverman, Crime, Policy and the Media (Routledge, October 2011)
  • Steve Reicher AcSS, Mad Mobs and Englishmen ( imminent publication as ebook here )
  • Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett, The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies almost always do Better. (2009).
  • Mike Hough and JV Felitzer, ‘Measuring public attitudes to criminal justice’ in Sage Handbook of Criminological Research Methods (2012)
  • Joseph Rowntree Foundation report: the lessons to be learned from the Riots (pdf)

Academy of Social Sciences

The Academy of Social Science’s mission is to promote social sciences in the United Kingdom for the public benefit. The academy is composed of individual academicians and learned societies; it responds to government and other consultations on behalf of the social science community, organizes meetings about social science and seminars on topics that span social science disciplines, and sponsors a number of efforts that promote social science and enhance its value to society.

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[…] Understanding the involvement of young people which examines motivations and who was involved. The riots of summer 2011: Seminar organized by the Campaign for Social Science the Guardian newspaper section is also a good starting […]


[…] The riots of summer 2011: Seminar organized by the Campaign for Social Science Access the presentations from this event which took place at Gresham College, London on 13th October 2011. Podcast available soon. They cover 3 main themes: How did we come to this? Is Britain “broken”? Were the rioters “just criminals”? Link via Sage social space It also has some useful suggestions for further reading. Including links to articles and reports some free. On the same theme released by the government this week: Cabinet Office: The August riots in England – Understanding the involvement of young people which… Read more »


During and following the Academy’s conference on the Riots of summer 2011, the speakers were all asked for their thoughts on where the priorities lay for social science research. You can read these and add your own thoughts here