Crowd Behaviour and Collective Action

  • Stephen T. La Macchia
  • Winnifred R. Louis
Part of the Peace Psychology Book Series book series (PPBS)


In this chapter, we examine the contribution of social identity theory to understanding crowd behaviour and collective action, and discuss possibilities for continued theoretical integration and promoting social change. We first review the major theories of crowd behaviour, including social identity theories. We discuss how the latter have addressed the limitations of prior theories and provided explanatory accounts of specific riot events, leading towards a conceptual and theoretical synthesis of collective action and crowd behaviour. We then discuss social identity theories (and prior theories) of collective action, their apparent disconnect from social identity theories of crowd behaviour, and the possibilities for theoretical integration between the two areas. Finally, we address the role of social identity in peace and conflict more broadly, and discuss future directions in this area of research.


Social identification Social movements Policing Protest Theoretical integration 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of QueenslandSt LuciaAustralia

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