Unruly strangers? The 2001 urban riots in Britain


This article examines issues of place and citizenship raised by the riots in summer 2001 in Bradford, Oldham and Burnley, when Asian youths took to the street to protest against the long‐term marginalization and discrimination of working‐class Asians. The article summarizes the forces that triggered the riots, ranging from the activities of the far right and the police to the role of community leaders and the absence of economic opportunity. The thrust of the argument, though, is to argue that the riots should be read in terms of the mature claim of a section of British society for recognition as fully‐fledged citizens of a multi‐ethnic and multicultural society, rather than as claims of ethnic recognition alone.