Urban Disorder and Gangs: A Critique and a Warning


Last August Britain's inner cities exploded in a wave of violent and unprecedented public unrest, turning huge swathes of England's urban landscape into a wasteland. Media commentators and politicians quickly blamed gangs and “gang culture,” but two scholars argue that the roots of the troubles are much deeper.

In a paper prepared for a special conference next month on the UK riots at London Metropolitan University (LMU), Prof. David Brotherton, co-chair of the Department of Sociology at John Jay College; and Prof. Simon Hallsworth, Director of the Centre for Social and Evaluation Research at LMU, warn that the U.S. style gang-suppression tactics contemplated by UK authorities will not work.

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