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postgraduate thesis: Testing the flashpoint model : police and public protesters

TitleTesting the flashpoint model : police and public protesters
Authors
Issue Date2014
PublisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)
Citation
Chan, S. [陳思鵬], Chan, Y. F. [陳苑欣], Kwong, C. [鄺志榮], Wong, H. [黃凱寧]. (2014). Testing the flashpoint model : police and public protesters. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5559030
AbstractThis dissertation aims to apply David Waddington’s Flashpoint Model to test the correlation of police response and protesters' law-breaking behavior. Generally, a flashpoint is an incident where trouble or violence might easily develop swiftly and unexpectedly. And where it may not be easy to control, or may even be uncontrollable. Waddington suggested that flashpoint describes a pre-existent situation of conflict in which a large-scale public disorder could be triggered by a trivial incident. Waddington’s Flashpoint Model was developed in the 1980s to explain the occurrence of crowd disorder as a non-random phenomenon. In this thesis, we seek to understand Hong Kong protesters' law-breaking behavior, and argue that it too is not a random event. The underlying hypothesis is that particular policing actions will trigger protesters to break the law in order to relieve anger or dissatisfaction. Toward this goal, our research applies both qualitative and quantitative methods in the context of Waddington’s flashpoint theory. According to David Waddington, to develop and evaluate a model of public disorder, there are altogether six levels of flashpoint, namely (i) structural level, (ii) political/ ideological level, (iii) cultural level, (iv) contextual level, (v) situational level and (vi) interactional level. Firstly, the structural level refers to the conflicts inherent in material and ideological differences between social groups and the extent to which they are resolvable within the existing social structure. Secondly, the political/ ideological level refers to the re1ationhip of the dissenting group to political and ideological institutions and their response to its activities. Thirdly, the cultural level refers to all the ways in which groups of people understand the social world and their place within it, their definitions of the rules which do or should govern behavior, and how they define themselves and other social groups. Fourth, the contextual level refers to long term and immediate sets of existing relations between those involved in the potentially disorderly situations, especially between the police and dissenting groups. Fifth, the situational level refers to the spatial and social determinants of an event or incident. Lastly, the interactional level refers to consideration of the dynamics of interaction between police and protesters (Waddington, Jones, & Critcher 1989). David Waddington (2007) suggested that the police plays a significant role in triggering public disorders by virtue of various police strategies, and are often perceived as having a repressive role. Accordingly, the police are perceived as trying to suppress demonstrations for political reasons, which, in turn, can further agitate protesters. However, Waddington’s framework does not define which particular factors are most significant in enraging protesters. Having considered the current Hong Kong situation and existing protest circumstances, the two most relevant flashpoint levels are highlighted for further discussion. In this paper, we attempt to establish how situational level and interactional levels of Waddington’s model serve to explain the correlation of police response and protesters' law-breaking behavior.
DegreeMaster of Social Sciences
SubjectDemonstrations - China - Hong Kong
Police-community relations - China - Hong Kong
Dept/ProgramCriminology
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221250

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorChan, Sze-pang-
dc.contributor.authorChan, Yuen-yan, Florence-
dc.contributor.authorKwong, Chi-wing-
dc.contributor.authorWong, Hoi-ning-
dc.contributor.author鄺志榮-
dc.contributor.author陳思鵬-
dc.contributor.author陳苑欣-
dc.contributor.author黃凱寧-
dc.date.accessioned2015-11-13T23:11:41Z-
dc.date.available2015-11-13T23:11:41Z-
dc.date.issued2014-
dc.identifier.citationChan, S. [陳思鵬], Chan, Y. F. [陳苑欣], Kwong, C. [鄺志榮], Wong, H. [黃凱寧]. (2014). Testing the flashpoint model : police and public protesters. (Thesis). University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam, Hong Kong SAR. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.5353/th_b5559030-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/221250-
dc.description.abstractThis dissertation aims to apply David Waddington’s Flashpoint Model to test the correlation of police response and protesters' law-breaking behavior. Generally, a flashpoint is an incident where trouble or violence might easily develop swiftly and unexpectedly. And where it may not be easy to control, or may even be uncontrollable. Waddington suggested that flashpoint describes a pre-existent situation of conflict in which a large-scale public disorder could be triggered by a trivial incident. Waddington’s Flashpoint Model was developed in the 1980s to explain the occurrence of crowd disorder as a non-random phenomenon. In this thesis, we seek to understand Hong Kong protesters' law-breaking behavior, and argue that it too is not a random event. The underlying hypothesis is that particular policing actions will trigger protesters to break the law in order to relieve anger or dissatisfaction. Toward this goal, our research applies both qualitative and quantitative methods in the context of Waddington’s flashpoint theory. According to David Waddington, to develop and evaluate a model of public disorder, there are altogether six levels of flashpoint, namely (i) structural level, (ii) political/ ideological level, (iii) cultural level, (iv) contextual level, (v) situational level and (vi) interactional level. Firstly, the structural level refers to the conflicts inherent in material and ideological differences between social groups and the extent to which they are resolvable within the existing social structure. Secondly, the political/ ideological level refers to the re1ationhip of the dissenting group to political and ideological institutions and their response to its activities. Thirdly, the cultural level refers to all the ways in which groups of people understand the social world and their place within it, their definitions of the rules which do or should govern behavior, and how they define themselves and other social groups. Fourth, the contextual level refers to long term and immediate sets of existing relations between those involved in the potentially disorderly situations, especially between the police and dissenting groups. Fifth, the situational level refers to the spatial and social determinants of an event or incident. Lastly, the interactional level refers to consideration of the dynamics of interaction between police and protesters (Waddington, Jones, & Critcher 1989). David Waddington (2007) suggested that the police plays a significant role in triggering public disorders by virtue of various police strategies, and are often perceived as having a repressive role. Accordingly, the police are perceived as trying to suppress demonstrations for political reasons, which, in turn, can further agitate protesters. However, Waddington’s framework does not define which particular factors are most significant in enraging protesters. Having considered the current Hong Kong situation and existing protest circumstances, the two most relevant flashpoint levels are highlighted for further discussion. In this paper, we attempt to establish how situational level and interactional levels of Waddington’s model serve to explain the correlation of police response and protesters' law-breaking behavior.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherThe University of Hong Kong (Pokfulam, Hong Kong)-
dc.relation.ispartofHKU Theses Online (HKUTO)-
dc.rightsCreative Commons: Attribution 3.0 Hong Kong License-
dc.rightsThe author retains all proprietary rights, (such as patent rights) and the right to use in future works.-
dc.subject.lcshDemonstrations - China - Hong Kong-
dc.subject.lcshPolice-community relations - China - Hong Kong-
dc.titleTesting the flashpoint model : police and public protesters-
dc.typePG_Thesis-
dc.identifier.hkulb5559030-
dc.description.thesisnameMaster of Social Sciences-
dc.description.thesislevelMaster-
dc.description.thesisdisciplineCriminology-
dc.description.naturepublished_or_final_version-

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