Riot is a violent disturbance of the peace by a crowd. According to Wikipedia, it is a form of civil disorder characterized often by what is thought of as disorganized groups lashing out in a sudden and intense rash of violence against authority, property or people. It also says that growing body of evidence  suggests that riots are not irrational, herd-like behavior, but follow inverted social norms. It is a part of our social issues since 44BC (first reported riot), when Julius Caesar was assassinated. Each passing centuries reporting more and more riots.

Riot Types of riots

Police riots is a term for the disproportionate and unlawful use of force by a group of police against a group of civilians, commonly where police attack a group of peaceful civilians and/or provoke previously peaceful civilians into violence.

Prison riots is a type of large scale, temporary act of concerted defiance or disorder by a group of prisoners against the prison administrators, prison officers, or other groups of prisoners, often to express a grievance, in an attempt to force change or an attempt to escape the prison.

Race riots: In race riots, race or ethnicity is the key factor. The term had entered the English language in the US by the 1890s. Early use of the term in the US referred to race riots which were often a mob action by members of a majority racial group against people of other perceived races.

Religious riots: In religious riots the key factor is religion.The rioting mob targets people and properties of a specific religion, or those believed to belong to that religion. This kind of riot is often seen in India because of its diversity in religion.

Student riots are riots precipitated by students, often in higher education, such as a college/university. Student riots in the US and Western Europe in the 1960s and the 1970s were often political in nature, although student riots can occur as a result of peaceful demonstration oppressed by the authorities and after sporting events. Students may constitute an active political force in a given country, and student riots may occur in the context of wider political or social grievances.

Urban riots are riots in the context of urban decay, provoked by conditions such as discrimination, poverty, high unemployment, poor schools, poor healthcare, housing inadequacy and police brutality and bias. Urban riots are closely associated with race riots and police riots.

Sports riots can be sparked by the losing or winning of a specific team, such as the Nika riot. Fans of the two teams may also fight. Five main reasons for sports riots are teams contending for a championship, a long series of matches, a gathering place for many fans, the presence of young men, and scores that are close. Sports are the most common cause of riots in the United States, accompanying more than half of all championship games or series; almost all occur in the winning team’s city. In North America, they are generally seen in two sports, hockey and association football. Players rarely join in such riots, which usually occur in and around the playing field (in association football) or in the streets or stands (in hockey).

Food and bread riots are caused by harvest failures, incompetent food storage, hoarding, poisoning of food, or attacks by pests like locusts. When the public becomes too desperate in such conditions, they attack shops, farms, homes, or government buildings to obtain bread or other staple foods like grain or salt, as in the 1977 Egyptian bread riots.

Causes of riot

There are different causes of riots which changes with change in social structure. Historically, riots have occurred due to poor working or living conditions (still happening in India), governmental oppression, taxation or conscription, conflicts between ethnic group, food supply or religion, the outcome of a sporting event or frustration with legal channels through which to air grievances. Some of the historian said that many a times riots happened because of high food price and unemployment.

Effects of riot

Wikipedia says the effects of riots in terms of economic and political consequences are as complex as the socioeconomic origins of such events. Widespread property destruction and harm to individuals are often immediately measurable effects.

The biggest effect of riot is millions of people died in thousand of riots all across the world till date. Riots causes huge loss of human resource. Riots causes unemployment for those self-employed people who loses their small businesses.

There are many ill effects of riots but there are also some positive effects. Many a time world witnessed that riots resulted as the end of dictatorship and communism. It is good  for inverting those social norms which are curse for the society.


As we can see that each passing century resulting more riots, it is concluded that there will me more riots in future as we become more globalized.  There will be more riots in future because of food crisis as it is expected that African population will have double digit growth rate. More globalization will cause more race riots as it is happening in Australia, US, UK Canada etc.

 Your comments will be much appreciated. If you want know the list of riots which took place all over the world, click here


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