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Durham e-Theses
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Understanding the Legal Constitution of a Riot: An Evental Genealogy

SCHOFIELD, VANESSA,FAYE (2019) Understanding the Legal Constitution of a Riot: An Evental Genealogy. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.

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This thesis considers the constitution of a riot as an event that ruptures. The aim of the thesis is to use an evental theoretical framework to develop a novel understanding of the constitution of a riot, in response to the absence of sustained theoretical reflection on riots, specifically following events in 2011, and England’s so called ‘summer of disorder’.
The absence of theoretical reflection on the constitution of riots in much existing riot research follows from the centrality of questions of causality within it, such as: what caused the breakdown of law and order? Existing work rushes to respond to specific events, to explain causality, in a way that quells concern over the destabilisation that the breakdown of law and order generates. The thesis begins by posing the alternative, more contemplative and critical question: what is a riot?
Drawing on evental theory, the thesis develops a conceptualisation of the riot as a particular kind of transgression; a transgression of the aesthetic faultline in the world (Badiou, 2008; Shaw, 2012). This is the line that regulates what can and cannot appear in the world. To develop an understanding of the constitution of the riot as a transgression of the aesthetic faultline in the world, the thesis traces the drawing and policing of this line through history, specifically in the legal domain, through legal archival work. It takes a historical approach in order to develop understanding of the historical constitution of this line, and how it has been policed during different instances of disorder, such as in Orgreave 1984-5, for example.

Item Type:Thesis (Doctoral)
Award:Doctor of Philosophy
Keywords:Riot, event, evental ontology, genealogy, legal archive.
Faculty and Department:Faculty of Social Sciences and Health > Geography, Department of
Thesis Date:2019
Copyright:Copyright of this thesis is held by the author
Deposited On:29 Oct 2019 11:15

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