John Drury is a social psychologist whose research focuses on crowd behaviour. He is particularly interested in (i) the psychological changes such as empowerment that may take place through participation in conflictual collective action (riots and non-violent direct actions) (ii) solidarity and resilience in mass emergencies, and (iii) responses to situations of crowding. Some of the crowd events he has researched and published on include the poll tax riot, the No M11 anti roads campaign, the evacuation of the World Trade Center, the July 7th London bombings, the Hillsborough disaster, and the Fatboy Slim beach parties in Brighton in 2002 and 2007. With his PhD students he is currently looking at crowd behaviour on the Muslim Hajj, crowd reactions to mass decontamination, and the Greek anti-austerity movement. He teaches a module on crowd safety management to professionals involved in the events industry and is the editor (with Clifford Stott) of a forthcoming book bringing together crowd researchers from different disciplines, Crowds in the 21st century: Perspectives from contemporary social science (Routledge).
Optimism versus Pessimism
"The Battle of Ideas is a weekend like no other. I found the 2011 festival immensely stimulating. It gave me a great deal to think about, and a whole new list of books to read - from Virgil to Vygotsky. On to greater battles in 2012!"
Ken Macleod, award-winning science fiction writer; author, The Restoration Game and Intrusion