The popular view that a riot is a spontaneous release of hostility by the frustrated and oppressed masses was rejected in favor of a notion of riot based upon motivation for personal gain by riot participants. The main difference between a riot and other forms of illegal activity was said to be the presence of a large and possibly sympathetic crowd.
Since the ways of gaining from a riot are varied and differ among individuals, there are several ways to reduce the probability of riots. The particular method chosen by a riot analyst depends, to a large extent, on his personal biases. Two of these were discussed: (1) a desire for a redistribution of income in the direction of the rioting group, and (2) the maintenance of the constancy of deterrent power of laws in all situations. It was found that adoption of (1) leads to the advocacy of many of the riot-prevention techniques which are popularly discussed. The adoption of (2) supports the assignment of heavier penalties for criminal acts committed during riots.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
Berkowitz, Leonard. “The Study of Urban Violence: Some Implications of Laboratory Studies of Frustration and Aggression.”Riots and Rebellion. Edited by Louis H. Masotti and Don R. Bowen. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1968.
Bingham, Jonathan B., and Bingham, Alfred M., eds.Violence and Democracy. New York: World Publishing Co., 1970.
Blank, Andrew. “Effects of Group and Individual Conditions on Choice Behavior.”Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 8 (1968): 194–98.
Cataldo, E., Johnson, R., and Kellstadt, L. “Social Strain and Urban Violence.”Riots and Rebellion. Edited by Louis H. Masotti and Don R. Bowen. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1968.
Chikota, Richard A., and Moran, Michael C., eds.Riot in the Cities. Rutherford: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press, 1970.
Dion, Kenneth L., Baron, Robert S., and Miller, Norman. “Why Do Groups Make Riskier Decisions than Individuals?”Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, Vol. 5. Edited by Leonard Berkowitz. New York: Academic Press, 1970.
Heaps, Willard A.Riots, U.S.A. New York: Seabury Press, 1970.
Lieberson, Stanley and Silverman, Arnold R. “The Precipitants and Underlying Conditions of Race Riots.”American Sociological Review 30(December 1965).
Methvin, Eugene H.The Riot Makers. New Rochelle, N.Y.: Arlington House, 1970.
Obershall, Anthony. “The Los Angeles Riot of August, 1965.”Social Problems 15 (Winter 1968).
Reynolds, Harry W., Jr. “Black Power, Community Power, and Jobs.”Riots and Rebellion. Edited by Louis H. Masotti and Don R. Bowen. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1968.
Schulman, Jay. “Ghetto-Area Residence, Political Alienation, and Riot Orientation.”Riots and Rebellion. Edited by Louis H. Masotti and Don R. Bowen. Beverly Hills, Calif.: Sage Publications, 1968.
Shellow, Robert, and Roemer, Derek V. “The Riot That Didn't Happen.” SocialProblems 14 (Fall 1966).
The National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders.Report of the National Advisory Committee on Civil Disorders. 1968.
About this article
Cite this article
Gunning, J.P. An economic approach to riot analysis. Public Choice 13, 31–46 (1972). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01718850
- Public Finance
- Illegal Activity
- Economic Approach
- Spontaneous Release
- Personal Gain