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Title: Inter-group relations in the context of policing foreign nationals at international football events
Author: Brown , Elaine
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2012
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The Elaborated Social Identity Model (ESIM) maintains that police strategy and tactics that are perceived to be illegitimate by crowd members increases the likelihood of disorder. In the context of policing foreign nationals this theory is advanced as an explanation for instances of disorder. The emphasis of the model is the inter-group relations between the in-group (the crowd), and an out-group (the police). Crowd theorists also advance the hypothesis that police psychology in public order can be characterised by a 'Classical' theory of crowd psychology, meaning they perceive crowds as dangerous and irrational. Social identity research would benefit from a more thorough understanding of the dynamics surrounding the policing of foreign nationals at international tournaments. There is a consensus on the importance of accounting for the police psychology in the inter-group interactions, which relative to the dynamics of crowd psychology has been sparsely addressed. Quantitative and qualitative data e.g., interviews, focus group, participant observation and structured observations were collected to address the relationship between police perception~ and practices and the relationship to inter-group dynamics at international football events. The methods employed are Constructed Grounded Theory Method (CGTM), ethnography and statistical analysis. The data gathering context is a naturalistic field study, in which access to the policing public order operation and participant observation field research forms the analysis. The research was conducted prior to, during and after nine international football events. A specific focus of the work is in the examination of the Austrian and Swiss police management of foreign nationals at the Euro 2008 football tournament. At which, access to structured observation data provides a valuable quantitative dynamic to the analysis. The results develop a social identity informed interpretation of occupational police psychology. Findings also suggest the claims of the crowd psychology literature can at times be unsubstantiated. The relationship between the police tactics and the relationship to crowd disorder is more complex than is currently represented; when considered in the broader occupational and inter-group context. The organisational police structure, opposing fan groups, and audiences such as the local population, the media and the private securities are all pertinent variables in understanding inter-group relations in the policing of foreign nationals. In relation to high profile measures of policing (contrary to majority perspective in the literature), this research provides evidence that these measures can offer practical and social benefits; from a police and crowd perspective. The thesis concludes by exploring some of the wider implications of this for future research, theory, policy, crowd management and international football events/tournaments.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available