How crowd violence arises and how it spreads: a critical review of theory and evidence

John Drury, Roger Ball, Fergus Gilmour Neville, Stephen David Reicher, Clifford Stott

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Research on patterns of crowd violence across diverse events (including urban riots, protests, and football crowd ‘disorder’) suggests that shared social identity both specifies appropriate conduct (and hence explains common limits) and is the basis of changes in relations between crowd members and outgroups (hence explaining empowered action and psychological change). Powerful mathematical models have demonstrated that riots influence each other, over and above key predictors such as deprivation. Recent research transcends the concept of ‘contagion’, suggesting instead that pathways of riot diffusion operate through shared identity and collective empowerment.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of Collective Violence
Subtitle of host publicationCurrent Developments and Understanding
EditorsCarol A. Ireland, Michael Lewis, Anthony C. Lopez, Jane L. Ireland
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherRoutledge Taylor & Francis Group
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9780429197420
ISBN (Print)9780367186524, 9780429590894
Publication statusPublished - 22 Apr 2020

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