Framing the 2011 England riots: understanding the political and policy response

Tim Newburn, Trevor Jones, Jarrett Blaustein

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This article considers the political reaction and policy response to the 2011 England riots. Drawing on the framework of John Kingdon’s (1995) multiple streams approach (MSA) the analysis in this article starts with the ‘policy window’ caused by the focusing event of the riots, and traces the ways in which this was used to frame different kinds of policy ‘problem’, rather than the more typical method of using the MSA to help explain the emergence and development of a particular policy. It then examines how different policy ‘solutions’ became attached to these problems with varying degrees of impact. In fact, more than anything, we argue that the framing of the riots served to close down many avenues for policy development, with the outcome that those that were initiated in the aftermath of the disorder were both limited and short-lived, with some having only the most tangential links with the riots.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-362
Number of pages24
JournalThe Howard Journal of Criminal Justice
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2018


  • disorder
  • penal policy
  • policing
  • riots
  • violence

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