After the Riots: Analysis and Public Debate

Posted by pt91 at Oct 11, 2011 12:10 PM |
Community activists and sociologists to discuss English riots, Saturday, 15th October, 10.30am-5.30pm at the Birmingham Midland Institute, Birmingham

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 11 October 2011

Community activists and academics are to converge to analyse the recent English riots with the aim of assessing what happened, why and future directions.

The event is organized by the British Sociological Association’s Theory Study Group in collaboration with the Department of Sociology, University of Leicester and the Social Theory Centre, University of Warwick.

A wide range of speakers will attend the event, English ‘Riots’: Civic Responses and Sociological Perspectives on Saturday, 15th October, 10.30am-5.30pm at the Birmingham Midland Institute, Birmingham.

Dr Leah Bassel Lecturer in the Department of Sociology at the University of Leicester said: “The recent civil disturbances across a number of English cities have provoked much commentary and debate. However, there has been little sustained analysis of the events, their causes and likely consequences.

“Our aim is to create the space for sociologists, community activists, and members of the public to engage in a dialogue that collectively helps to develop robust perspectives on what happened, why, and where we are going.”

Speakers include Alana Lentin, Sauvageons and "feral rats": race and riots in France and Britain; Karim Murji, Continuities and Contradictions: Race and Policing, Then and Now’; Ajmal Hussain, ‘Presenting’ the Riots in Birmingham: New Times for ‘Community’, Policing and Leadership; Malcolm James, The UK Riots and the Criminalisation of Young People in Public Space; Nina Power, Constructing the Riots, Denying the Context; John Solomos, After the Riots: Musings, Analysis and Research Agendas

The final roundtable speakers include Rob Berkeley, Director of the Runnymede Trust; community activists Sajida Madni from Birmingham Citizens and Maxie Hayles chair of the Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit; Heidi Safia Mirza, professor at the Institute of Education; Sam Farooq, researcher at the University of Gloucester.

The event takes place on Saturday 15th October, 2011, Birmingham Midland Institute

£10 waged, £5 unwaged

Please note, places are limited and you will need to register to attend. To register for a place, please email:

For further details, see:


Note to newsdesk:

For more information,

Dr Leah Bassel

Lecturer, Department of Sociology

Assistant Editor, Citizenship Studies

University of Leicester

Tel: +44(0)1162522730


Confirmed speakers

Rob Berkeley, The Runnymede Trust

Dr Rob Berkeley has been Director of the Runnymede Trust, the UK’s leading race equality think tank, since January 2009. He was Deputy Director of Runnymede between 2005 and 2009. His doctoral studies focused on exclusion from school. He has been Chair of governors at a South London primary school, Chair of Naz Project London (which provides sexual health and HIV prevention and support services to various minority ethnic communities), and a Trustee of Stonewall, and the Equality and Diversity Forum, and a member of the Commission on 2020 Public Services. Publications include ‘Home Alone: Unaccompanied Minor Return to Somaliland’ (2010), ‘Right to Divide? Faith Schools and Community Cohesion’ (2008) ‘Identity, Ethnic Diversity and Community Cohesion’ (Sage: London 2007), ‘Britain; challenges for race equality’ (2006) and ‘Connecting British Hindus’ (2006), and the film ‘Number Games; Race Equality in the Big Society’ (2011).’

Sam Farooq, University of Gloucester

Dr Sam Farooq is a researcher and lecturer in Sport, Outreach and Development at the University of Gloucestershire, and an advisory board member to the Centre for Sport and Spirituality. Her current research interests lie in evaluating if and how sport can act as an agent for (social, cultural, political, ideological) change(s) in the lives of ex-offenders, disenfranchised youth, and those on the periphery of crime across urban cities of Birmingham, Coventry and the London boroughs.

Maxie Hayles, Maxie Hayles International Consultancy

Maxie Hayles is chairman of Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring unit (bramu).  Maxie has been among key note speakers at such events as The United Nations Convention (CERD) Commitee for the Eradication of all forms of Racial Discrimination and alongside other NGOs has presented a paper on ‘The Exclusion of African Carribbean Pupils’ held in Geneva in 2000 and on ‘Deaths in Police and Prison Custody’ in 2003. Leading the fight for human rights has resulted in Maxie being bestowed with the National Active Community Award in 2000. In December 2008 he was given the ‘Lifetime Achievement Award”, presented by the civil rights leader Reverend Jessie Jackson for his outstanding work defending Human Rights and Race Equality.

Ajmal Hussain, London School of Economics

Ajmal Hussain is a PhD candidate in the Sociology Department at the London School of Economics. His research is an ethnography exploring new Muslim identity formation in inner-city Birmingham, where he grew up and now lives. Ajmal also works as a Research Associate within the Centre for Interdisciplinary Research in Languages & Diversity (InterLanD) at Aston University.

Malcolm James, London School of Economics

Malcolm James is a social researcher and PhD student in the Department of Sociology at the London School of Economics. His PhD research is based around three East London youth clubs. The themes for the research are racism, youth culture and how young people live publicly. Over the last decade Malcolm has published work on young people, ‘race’ and racism, migration and xenophobia and structural inequality. Malcolm is also Editor of the online journal Critical Contemporary Culture.

Alana Lentin, University of Sussex

Dr Alana Lentin is a political sociologist and social theorist. She is Senior Lecturer in Sociology at the University of Sussex.  She works on the critical theorisation of race, racism and anti-racism and has done extensive research into the contemporary politics of (im)migration and collective action for migrants’ rights. She is currently focusing on the perceived crisis of multiculturalism. Her latest book is The Crises of Multiculturalism: Racism in a Neoliberal Age (with Gavan Titley and a preface by Gary Young, Zed Books). She publishes regularly in European Journal Social Theory and Patterns of Prejudice among other journals.

Sajida Madni, Birmingham Citizens

Sajida Madni has been working as a professional organiser for the past 6 years with Birmingham Citizens. Birmingham Citizens is a broad based organisation consisting of mosques, churches, trade unions, schools and other community institutions that are committed to working together for the common good. Sajida graduated from the University of Birmingham and went on to work as an English teacher at a large secondary school in Birmingham. Sajida has grown up in Birmingham and is a member of the Islamic Society of Britain (ISB). She has been involved in leadership development work with ISB’s youth wing, Young Muslims and also serves as a volunteer teacher for Birmingham Citizens’ member schools. Sajida is a keen footballer and captained a professional ladies’ team for three years as well as representing her university’s women’s side. In recognition of her achievements, Sajida was awarded the ‘Young Alumna of the Year’ award from the University of Birmingham in 2007.

Heidi Safia Mirza, Institute of Education

Professor Heidi Safia Mirza is Professor of Equalities Studies in Education (Emeritus) at the Institute of Education, University of London, UK. She has published extensively on the intersectionality of gender and race, including studies on ethnicity and educational attainment, multiculturalism and the experiences of Muslim and minority ethnic women. She is the founder of the Runnymede Collection, an archive documenting the history of the civil rights struggle for a multicultural Britain. She is author of several best-selling books with Routledge including Young Female and Black ( 1992) , and Race Gender and Educational Desire: Why black women succeed and fail ( 2009) and the seminal edited collections Black British Feminism ( 1997) and Black and Postcolonial Feminisms in New Times (2010).

Karim Murji, The Open University

Dr Karim Murji is a Senior Lecturer in Sociology at The Open University, Milton Keynes, UK, where he has written distance learning materials for courses in Sociology, Social Policy, Politics, Geography and social research methods. His research interests are culture, ethnicity and racism and these are applied to fields such as race and policing, race equality and social policy, and diaspora and identity. Recent publications on these themes appear in the Journal of Transatlantic Studies (2009), the Journal of Social Policy (2010) and Policy Studies (2011). With John Solomos, he is the co-editor of Racialization: Studies in theory and practice (Oxford University Press, 2005). He is a former member of the Metropolitan Police Authority and is currently a member for the General Teaching Council and a local Safeguarding Children Board. He is also on the Equality and Diversity Forum and has recently served in many advisory roles including the BME Trust and Confidence Group, the Transformative Justice Forum, the UK Drug Policy Commission Equalities review and the Home Office Drugs Equality Strategy group.

Nina Power, University of Roehampton

Dr Nina Power teaches Philosophy at Roehampton University and is a founding member of Defend the Right to Protest, a campaign group set up in the wake of the student protests of late 2010. She writes on a wide variety of topics, most recently policing and protest.

John Solomos, City University London

Professor John Solomos is based in Sociology at City University London. His most recent book is Transnational Families: Ethnicities, Identities and Social Capital (Routledge 2010 and 2011, co-author with Harry Goulbourne, Tracey Reynolds and Elisabetta Zontini). He has also recently edited the The Sage Handbook of Race and Ethnic Studies (Sage 2010, co-editor with Patricia Hill Collins).

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