Understanding collective fear responses to perceived terrorist threats

Crowds and Identities: John Drury’s Research Group

By Dermot Barr

The UK national threat level was raised to ‘Severe’, the second highest level, on the 3rd November 2020 after a series of terrorist attacks in France and Austria. This level means an attack is thought to be ‘highly likely’. This blogpost discusses the psychology around this decision and its potential impacts. 

 I will also discuss the relevance of threats and threat-level to a new ESRC-funded research project into crowd responses to perceptions of hostile threat, often problematically known as ‘stampedes’. Before we discuss the research project, let’s review the incidents leading up to this decision by the Joint Terrorism Analysis Centre (JTAC).


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