Listen Now

Hampson: What societal problems have the London riots exposed?

By: /
15 August, 2011
By: Fen Osler Hampson
Director of the Global Security program and Distinguished Fellow at CIGI and Chancellor's Professor at Carleton University

You might call them the Blackberry hooligans given their dependence on the super safe encryption services of the Canadian-made mobile phone. From Georgian times–portrayed in Hogarth’s prints of that era–to the 20th century–George Orwell wrote about them–to the present, hooliganism has been part of British culture. Todays riots are fueled by unprecedently high unemployment rates among British youth (40 percent by some estimates), and deep rooted racial tensions, which it only took a match to ignite. The scale of the violence and mayhem have rocked Britain to the core and also become a political football in the coalition politics of David Cameron’s embattled Conservative-led government. It has taken a firm hand to stop the rioting and looting. But it will take a lot more than that to address the roots of this problem.

Before you click away, we’d like to ask you for a favour … 


Open Canada is published by the Canadian International Council, but that’s only the beginning of what the CIC does. Through its research and live events hosted by its 18 branches across the country, the CIC is dedicated to engaging Canadians from all walks of life in an ongoing conversation about Canada’s place in the world.

By becoming a member, you’ll be joining a community of Canadians who seek to shape Canada’s role in the world, and you’ll help Open Canada continue to publish thoughtful and provocative reporting and analysis.

Join us