June 4, 2019, 12:45–13:45
Room MS 003
From early to mid-November 2005, many French urban suburbs experienced riots. In the affected areas the government declared a state of emergency which gave the police extrajudicial powers. It remained in place until January. I investigate whether the riots generated criminal spillovers, whether the emergency powers deterred criminal activity, and whether the police used those powers opportunistically to bust crime unrelated to the riots. I supplement linear regressions with a non-parametric bounded-variation assumptions framework combined with a synthetic control approach, and interviews I conducted with two of the events’ key actors. Criminals did not take advantage of the riots to commit more crimes requiring planning. However, the riots triggered a surge of violent thefts. The state of emergency did not result in a decrease in delinquency. Several clues suggest a strategy of appeasement. Meanwhile, some serious crimes increased immediately after the riots ended, suggesting an emboldening effect. Evidence of police opportunism is scant.
Stéphane Mechoulan (Dalhousie University), “Civil Unrest, Emergency Powers, and Spillover Effects: A Mixed Methods Analysis of the 2005 French Riots”, IAST Lunch Seminar, Toulouse: IAST, June 4, 2019, 12:45–13:45, room MS 003.