Urban riots: A comparative study of Stockholm and London

Project leader


Funding source

Formas - The Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning

Project Details

Start date: 01/01/2016
End date: 01/01/2018
Funding: 3000000 SEK


Urban societies are experiencing intensified social frictions which manifest themselves in recurrent urban riots. The failures of ´participatory´ planning, a loss of faith in available channels for participation and in civil society organizations may contribute to such violent political expressions. Urban riots are often treated as ephemeral outbursts with little political consequence for broader issues of urban citizenship and democracy. This project studies riots as phenomena of political import and investigates the under-researched longer-term political effects beyond the event. This includes examining the extent to which affected marginalized neighbourhoods are able to catalize new forms of participation in the aftermath of the riots. The study will also explore the poorly understood linkages between riots/rioters and everyday public life and organisation (e.g. community groups, gangs, kinship). The project takes the form of a comparative study of the 2013 Stockholm and 2011 London riots, whereby differences between the two cities will enrich our understanding of both contexts. It will rely chiefly on qualitative and ethnographic methods. Working with deprived affected neighbourhoods, local civil society and state actors, this project seeks to deepen our understanding about prospects for urban justice and identify paths for effective participation and democratic practice in turbulent times.

Last updated on 2017-07-08 at 10:57