Prof. Clifford Stott

Title: Professor of Social Psychology
Phone: +44 (0)1782 734529
Location: Dorothy Hodgkin Building 1.84
Contacting me:
Clifford Stott Apr16 200x200

I joined the School as Professor of Social Psychology in March 2016 from a position as Principal Research Fellow in Security and Justice in the School of Law at the University of Leeds. I have an interdisciplinary focus and specialize in understanding the nature and role of social identity processes and intergroup relationships in the psychology and dynamics of crowd behaviour, ‘riots’, ‘hooliganism’ and ‘public order’ policing. I lead the Social and Developmental Research Group within the School and am the founder and Co-Director of the Keele Policing Academic Collaboration, one of Keele University’s key strategic Research Centres.

I graduated with a B.Sc. (Hons) Psychology from Plymouth Polytechnic and obtained a PhD on the ‘Intergroup Dynamics of Crowd Behaviour’ from the University of Exeter under the supervision of Professor Stephen Reicher. I subsequently held Lectureships and Senior Lectureships at the Universities of Bath, Abertay Dundee and Liverpool. I have also held Visiting Professorships at Aarhus University in Demark, at the Leeds University Business School along with Visiting Fellowships and Scholarships at the Australian National University, the University of Exeter and Flinders University in Adelaide.

I am currently an Associate Editor for the British Journal of Social Psychology and sit on the Advisory Board of the journal Policing and Society. I have previously been a Consultant Editor for the British and the European Journals of Social Psychology and sat on the Editorial Board of Criminology and Criminal Justice. I have been a guest Editor of a special edition of Contemporary Social Science and Co-Editor of a special issue of Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice on the policing of crowds.

I have been involved both as principle and co-investigator in research and consultancy projects worth in excess of £4 million provided by a wide range of organisations including the ESRC, Leverhulme Trust, the European Commission, UK Home Office as well as charitable foundations and a number of policing and other governmental organisations. I am currently involved in a collaborative ESRC funded project researching the social psychological dynamics of the spread of collective violence during the 2011 English ‘riots’. I am also the Scientific Director of ENABLE, an 8 million SEK project constructing an evidence based approach to the policing of football crowds in Sweden funded by the Galo Foundation.

My research and its associated theory has achieved high-level external impact at a national and international level. My work has informed policy, guidance and practice in the management of crowds for a range of government and police organisations in the U.K. including the Home Office, the Association of Chief Police Officers, the College of Policing, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary as well as among others the Metropolitan Police Service, Staffordshire, Sussex and West Yorkshire Police. My research has also achieved high-level international impact affecting policy and guidance on the policing of crowds of the European Council, the European Union as well as a range of police forces globally including Portugal, Sweden, Denmark and Australia. In 2004 I was involved in the developing of the policing approach for the 2004 UEFA European Championships in Portugal and between 2009 and 2011 I played a central role in designing and delivering the Pan European Football Police Training Project funded by the European Commission in partnership with UEFA.

In 2014 I was awarded the Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘Celebrating Impact’ First Prize and in 2015 my work on policing crowds was acknowledged by the ESRC as one of its ‘Top 50’ achievements in its 50-year history. In 2015 I also won the University of Leeds Vice Chancellor’s Impact Award for the Social Sciences.

I specialise in research on crowds, ‘riots’, ‘hooliganism’ and ‘public order’ policing underpinned by theoretical perspectives on social identity, intergroup relations and procedural justice. My early research career focused on the development of theoretical understanding of role of intergroup group dynamics and social identity processes in collective violence in collaboration with Professor Stephen Reicher (St Andrews University) and Dr John Drury (University of Sussex). My early research played a central role in developing the Elaborated Social Identity Model of crowd behaviour (ESIM). The ESIM is now widely acknowledged as the leading social psychological theory of crowd behaviour, particularly as this relates to theoretical conceptualisation of the underlying dynamics of the inititation and escalation of ‘rioting’.

This theoretical insight highlights the importance of police strategy and tactics in the initiation and escalation of ‘disorder’ during political protest and football crowd events. As a consequence, my career focus has therefore concentrated on extending these important theoretical developments toward an applied and impact agenda, primarily through integrating ESIM based analyses of rioting into professional policy and practice among police forces globally. As a consequence, I have developed a strong interest in inter-disciplinary research on security and have also established an international profile in Criminology and policing studies. I have become widely regarded as a world leading academic expert on the psychology and policing of ‘public order’ during crowd events and have a substantial record of high quality publications at a national and international level.

Selected Journal Articles

  • Stott, C., Drury, J. & Reicher, S (2016) On the Role of a Social Identity Analysis in Articulating Structure and Collective Action: The 2011 Riots in Tottenham and Hackney. British Journal of Criminology. DOI: 10.1093/bjc/azw036
  • Stott, C & Drury, J. (2017) Contemporary understanding of riots: Classical crowd psychology, ideology and the social identity approach. Public Understanding of Science. Vol 26(1) 2-14
  • Stott, C, West, O & Radburn, M. (2016) Policing football ‘risk’? A participant action research case study of a liaison based approach to ‘public order’. Policing and Society.
  • Drury, J, Novelli, D and Stott, C (2015) Managing to avert disaster: explaining collective resilience at an outdoor music event. European Journal of Social Psychology. DOI: 10.1002/ejsp.2108
  • Stott, C; Scothern, M and Gorringe, H. (2013). ‘Advances in liaison based public order policing in England: Human Rights and negotiating the management of protest?’ Policing. 7(2): pp212-226
  • Stott C; Hoggett J and Pearson G (2012) 'Keeping the Peace': Social Identity, Procedural Justice and the Policing of Football Crowds. British Journal of Criminology. 52(2): 381-399
  • Stott, C.J., Adang, O.M., Livingstone, A., & Schreiber, M. (2008) Tackling Football Hooliganism: A Quantitative Study of Public Order, Policing and Crowd Psychology. Psychology Public Policy and Law. Vol. 14, No. 2, 115–14
  • Stott, C.J., Adang, O.M., Livingstone, A., & Schreiber, M. (2007) Variability in the collective behaviour of England fans at Euro2004: public order policing, social identity, intergroup dynamics and social change. European Journal of Social Psychology. 37, 75-100.


  • Reicher, S & Stott, C (2011) Mad Mobs and Englishmen?: Myths and Realities of the 2011 riots. London: Constable and Robinson. ISBN: 978-1-78033-532-2. 
  • Stott, C. & Pearson, G. (2007) Football Hooliganism, Policing and the War on the English Disease. London, Pennant Books. ISBN 978-1-906015-05-3.
  • Drury, J., & Stott, C. (Eds.) (2013). Crowds in the 21st century: Perspectives from contemporary social science. London: Routledge.

I am Course Director for the M.Sc. Community and Applied Psychology and module coordinator for the third year module PSY-30124 ‘Groups, Crowds and Conflict: Theoretical and Applied Perspectives’. I supervise a number of undergraduate projects and MSc dissertations in the general areas of social psychology and criminology.

  • Economic and Social Research Council’s ‘Celebrating Impact’ First Prize 2014.