In a comparative study drawing on material from the United States and Britain, David Waddington examines the reasons behind various types of industrial, political, urban and sectarian disorder. "Contemporary Issues in Public Disorder" critically appraises the theoretical approaches to understanding public disorder and contributes to the ongoing debates on police methods, police accountability and the role of the media.
What are the crucial situational dynamics which determine an initial "flashpoint" incident which might escalate into a major conflagration? Have recent extensions of police powers and tactical and technological developments in crowd control been allowed to go too far? Are the current mechanisms of police accountability sufficiently effective? In what ways does the media contribute to disorder? Drawing on both field and academic work, Waddington provides insights into the key questions and debates surrounding public disorder and its control. "Contemporary Issues in Public Disorder" is of interest to students and scholars of sociology, politics, social psychology, industrial relations, media studies, criminology and socio-legal studies.
"Waddington has largely succeeded in producing an accessible introduction to these issues. In many respects it is currently the best critical analysis of public disorder produced by a British social scientist."
-"Times Higher Education Supplement
"Public order in a modern society is fragile--and is vulnerable to ill-considered government policies. In "Contemporary Issues in Public Disorder Waddington constructs a powerful indictment of the callous incompetence of the Thatcher administrations in the field of law and order. This book is a major contribution to the literature of civil disorder."
-John Benyon, University of Leicester