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Why Are There No Riots in Germany?: Mutual Perceptions Between Police Forces and Minority Adolescents (From Rioting in the UK and France: A Comparative Analysis, P 216-225, 2009, David Waddington, Fabien Jobard, and Mike King, eds. - See NCJ-229457)

NCJ Number
Tim Lukas
Date Published
10 pages
This chapter examines the relationship between ethnic minorities and the German police as one reason why Germany has not experienced the immigrant-involved riots that occurred in Great Britain and France in 2001 and 2005, respectively.
The chapter first notes that mutually hostile interactions among migrant youths and the police have characterized riot-affected countries such as Great Britain and France. The chapter then summarized findings from various relevant surveys and qualitative studies in Germany that had found little evidence of strong resentment of the police among migrant adolescents or serious confrontations between such youth and the police. Huttermann (2000) concluded that in Germany a subculture of "street corner police" had developed, within which police developed informal contacts with juveniles who frequent public spaces. Individual police became familiar with juvenile and minority subcultures, adjusting their social control actions to the severity and consequences of various youth behaviors. Minority youth, on the other hand, tend to view police as being an acceptable presence with a public responsibility to prevent and respond to lawbreaking. Such mutual acceptance of the pattern of interaction between local police and minority youth might help to explain the absence of immigrant-involved riots in Germany. The chapter emphasizes, however, that in Germany, as well as in other countries, contact between police and migrant adolescents has the potential for conflict that can escalate into riots. Germany might have reduced the potential for rioting by cultivating a culture of "round tables," which were applied in integrating opposing interests through reconciliation and strategies of conflict resolution; for example, after the clash between Turkish juveniles and the police in the Berlin borough of Kreuzberg, mediation talks were immediately initiated that brought together the concerned parties in order to reach a mutual agreement about how the community would be policed. 3 figures