Call for papers: Politics, Consumption or Nihilism: Disorder and Protest, the UK and beyond. Conference at the Sheffield Hallam University, September 13th-14th 2012, organizers: David Waddington, Bob Jeffery and Joseph Ibrahim

Since 2010 the world has witnessed the rise of some major political protest movements and revolts across the globe, including the Greek riots and the Arab spring. In the UK, August 2011 saw the most widespread and sustained disorder on English streets in living memory. In London alone (as of October 2011) this
has led to approximately 3,000 arrests (London Evening Standard) and the cost of the riots are estimated at somewhere between £200-300 million (The Guardian).

Yet those riots were only the latest incarnation of a wave of disorder and protests that has swept through the country since the onset of the financial crisis and the election of a coalition government committed to cutting state-spending through a rolling back of a range of services. Of equal significance has been the mobilization of students and young people through various campaigns to resist the cuts in the education budget, the increase of university tuition fees and the removal of the Educational Maintenance Allowance, leading to mass-demonstrations characterized by outbreaks of violence between demonstrators and the police.

The aim of this conference is to explore both theoretically and empirically the political dynamics of recent protest events since 2010. In this respect, to consider new ways of understanding the recent protests and mobilizations which go beyond popular narrative tropes.

We invite papers that are relevant to the general analytic conference themes:

  • Movements and Networks
  • Neighbourhoods and exclusion
  • Class and race inequalities
  • Contemporary political economy
  • The role of policing
  • Media representations of protest

Broad empirical foci could include, but is not limited to:

  • The Arab Spring
  • The Greek protests
  • UK Educational protests
  • August 2011 riots
  • Anti-cuts movements and trade union mobilisations
  • The Occupy movement

Keynote speakers
Prof. Nick Crossley, University of Manchester, Co-founder of the Mitchell Centre for Social Network Analysis, author of Relational Sociology; Contesting Psychiatry: Social movements in mental health;
Reflexive Embodiment in Contemporary Society; and Making Sense of Social Movements, amongst other works.

Prof. Simon Hallsworth, London Metropolitan University, Director of the Centre for Social and Evaluation Research, author of Punitive States: Punishment and the Economy of Violence; The New Punitiveness:
Trends, Theories, Perspectives; Street Crime; Cybercrime: Impact and Responses to Cyber Threats and The Criminology of Pleasure, amongst other works.

Prof. Tim Hope, University of Salford, Chair of Criminology is Scientific Advisor to the International Centre for the prevention of Crime, he is Editorial Advisor to Safer Communities, Criminal Justice
Matters and the European Journal of Policing Studies. He is the author of over a 100 research publications in 9 languages.

Prof. David Waddington, Sheffield Hallam University, Director of the Communications and Computing Research Centre, author of Policing Public Disorder: Theory and Practice; Rioting in the UK and France; Contemporary Issues in Public Disorder: A Comparative and Historical Approach and Flashpoints: Studies in Public Disorder, amongst other works.

Submission of papers
To offer a paper please e-mail an abstract of approximately 300 words with ‚PCN Abstract‘ in the subject box, to the Conference Secretariat: e-mail conference21(at) The deadline for papers is Friday 24th August 2012

More details in the full CfP