Law and Critique

, Volume 23, Issue 3, pp 199–217 | Cite as

Seeing Red: Entropy, Property, and Resistance in the Summer Riots 2011

  • Lucy Finchett-MaddockEmail author


This paper explores the thermodynamic property ‘entropy’ as a metaphor for aesthetics and politics, law and resistance in the case of the Summer Riots 2011. The aim of the paper is to use the framework and structure of entropy to demonstrate a political aesthetics of property. This shall be done by firstly linking entropy with aesthetic concepts of order, disorder, symmetry and equilibrium. Works on complex adaptive systems to account for collective behaviour, combined with Benjaminian and Adornian accounts of the commodity, shall be used alongside the relevance of crowd theory in explaining not the riots themselves but the sentencing of collectivity in the case of R v Blackshaw & Others [2011] EWCA Crim 2312. Following Rancière and the arts and crafts movement, utility and beauty, the breaking down of the divisions of art, life, philosophy and science are summarised as the lesson of entropy for law. This re-visiting of the Summer Riots 2011 hopes to re-evaluate the sentencing procedures in light of ‘Riot-Related Offending’ through an aesthetic politics of collectivity, property and commodity.


Entropy Property Commodity Riot-related offending Sentencing Summer Riots 2011 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of LawUniversity of ExeterExeterUK

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