Shortly after the riots that swept across England following the Metropolitan Police’s shooting of Mark Duggan in August 2011, the British Guardian newspaper and researchers based at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE) launched what continues to be the most significant empirically grounded effort to understand what had happened, how, and why. Over three months, sixty journalists and researchers interviewed hundreds of those who had participated in the riots; they collected and analyzed more than 1.3 million words of first-hand testimonies. Paul Lewis, the Guardian’s special projects editor, led the Reading the Riots project, along with Tim Newburn of the LSE. Lewis is interviewed here about their key findings and what they might reveal.

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