In this book David Mansley argues that the frequency with which violence intrudes on to the streets is related to both how society is governed and how it is policed. With the help of an invative methodology, he quantifies and tests three variables - collective violence, democracy and protest policing - using protests in Great Britain in 1999-2011, for his sampling frame. The result is the design of new tools of measurement and a harvest of new data, including previously unpublished details of banning orders and riot damages, that enable us to reflect, with the benefit of broad sociological perspective, on the causes of contemporary violent events. Mansley's explanation of the trends he identifies draws from the work of the best thinkers on violence - especially Charles Tilly, Thomas Hobbes and Norbert Elias. He shows how the style of protest policing and the depth of democracy, both of which function under the direction of the political ecomy, are crucial to the state's credentials as the mopoly supplier of legitimate violence. His discussion touches on such current topics as the institution of police commissioners, the privatisation of policing duties, and the decline in homicide. This cultured study, which includes an engaging review of the existing scholarship on violence, is essential material for undergraduate and postgraduate students reading crimilogy, sociology or political theory.
David R. Mansley read criminology at undergraduate level, before reading a Master's degree in sociological research and a PhD in sociology at Lancaster University. His thesis on collective violence was supervised by Prof. Sylvia Walby OBE and Dr. Ian Paylor, and sponsored by the ESRC. He spent fifteen months writing for select committees at the House of Commons.