University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography > The English Riots of 2012: Race, Rhetoric and Policies, but What Solutions?

The English Riots of 2012: Race, Rhetoric and Policies, but What Solutions?

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This paper addresses the English Riots of August 2011. It is divided into three parts: in the first, it examines elite and popular discourse on the riots, which illustrates well the tensions associated with an increasingly socially-divided British society. The second part challenges the attempt by the state and the conservative media to de-contextualise the riots, by demonstrating how the discourse supports particular policy prescriptions of a neo-liberal British government, seeking to reduce its commitment to the poorer sections of its society, in a context of excessive policing, institutional racism, high unemployment, and cut-backs in social welfare expenditure. The arguments are supported by empirical (some anecdotal and subjective) evidence from London, mainly the London borough of Hackney. In the final section, the paper suggests that by reading the lived experiences of the youth and communities, scholars and activists (working collectively) can be directed to forms of action-oriented research that may lead to more transformative and non-violent solutions in Britain.

This talk is part of the Department of Geography - Seminars in Cultural and Historical Geography series.

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