Why People Riot? Causes, Realities, Ways Forward


A 5-day workshop in Athens, Greece, 5-9 May 2014

The University of Wolverhampton has been awarded an EU grant for a new project on Why People Riot.  Dr George Kassimeris, Reader in Terrorism and Political Violence, will lead a workshop-based visit to Athens for professionals involved in training on different aspects of street violence and public disorder. Dr Kassimeris, together with Dr Eamonn O’Kane, Senior Lecturer in Politics and War Studies, plans to link with Greece to take advantage of the country’s long standing experience in dealing with riots and public disorder.

Participants will include contacts from police forces, emergency services, prisons, local authorities, colleges, universities, youth services  and media organisations, drawn from regions in the UK which have recently experienced civil disorder and rioting.

They event will comprise a week-long series of seminars, workshops, panel sessions, presentations and exercises, under the theme of 'Why People Riot? Causes, Realities, Ways Forward'. These will be held 5-9 May 2014 at the ELIAMEP  Institute in Athens, one of Europe’s most recognized centres with a focus on security and public policy. The choice of a Greek partner for this project is critical. Athens has dealt with numerous public disorder incidents and the city’s responses have demonstrated that effective work in preventing street violence and extremism needs to involve partnerships across different sectors.

Workshops will offer participants the opportunity to develop their knowledge base on a number of critical areas to include: understanding the social dynamics of protest; community engagement and cohesion issues; emergency planning; supporting vulnerable groups and promoting community resilience; youth engagement and public information systems and media strategy.

The rationale behind the project is that it will lead to the development of new expertise which participants can apply to their area of work back in the UK, sharing of good practice, development of frameworks for crisis planning and the establishment of a broader understanding of a number of vital and neglected themes. Dr Kassimeris said: “The participants need opportunities to engage with European experts in the field and to better understand the approaches and policies in order to enhance their own effectiveness. In addition, learning in a comparative environment will broaden their knowledge base and widen their transferrable skills beyond their normal specialist focus”

If you are interested in participating please contact:

g.kassimeris@wlv.ac.uk or e.okane@wlv.ac.uk