London riots

August 9th, 2011

As rioting continues to spread in London and surrounding areas, Prime Minister David Cameron announced the deployment of 10,000 police officers. Cameron also recalled Parliament from its summer recess to assist in assessing the situation. Graham Wilson, chair of Boston University’s Political Science Department, and author of “Only in America? American Politics in Comparative Perspective,” offers the following comment:

“This is a profound shock for those who remember the self-disciplined British police of the post-World War II era equipped with nothing more than a truncheon and a pair of handcuffs.

“This rioting is not explained by expenditure cuts, most of which have yet to take effect. It points to a deeper problem in the U.K. — the existence of an underclass, white as much as minority, ill-educated, economically marginal, and at the margins of society generally.”

Contact Graham at 617-523-2540 or gkwilson@bu.edu

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