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British Academy awards prize for riot theory essay

Published: 19 August 2020Origin: Politics and International Relations

The British Academy has awarded its Brian Barry Prize in Political Science to Dr Jonathan Havercroft, Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton, for a highly original essay presenting a theoretical framework for the permissibility of rioting against injustice.

The Brian Barry Prize, awarded in partnership with Cambridge University Press and the British Journal of Political Science (BJPolS), is among ten prizes and medals awarded by the British Academy to recognise the accomplishments of leading scholars in Classics, Theology and Religious Studies, Linguistics, Archaeology, History and throughout the humanities and social sciences.
In the prize-winning essay, 'Why is there no just riot theory?', to be published in the British Journal of Political Science, Dr Havercroft outlines eleven provisional criteria to determine the extent to which a riot is justified and legitimate – such as whether it is "freedom preserving", "equality promoting" or giving "voice to the grievances of marginalised communities".
Awarding the Prize, the panel described Havercroft's article as "ground-clearing and path-breaking".
Dr Havercroft commented: "I am deeply honoured and humbled to receive this year's Brian Barry Prize in Political Science. Professor Barry taught at my institution, the University of Southampton, in the 1960s and wrote one of his major works Political Argument while there. As a scholar I take great inspiration from his lifelong commitment to fusing normative political theory with empirical political science. My current research on the normativity of riots attempts to do just that by combining the empirical analysis of political protest with traditional ethical analyses of political violence and obligation."

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