Planned hooligan fights: Contributing factors and significance for individuals who take part

Tom van Ham, Otto M.J. Adang, Henk B. Ferwerda, Theo A.H. Doreleijers, Arjan A.J. Blokland

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4 Citations (Scopus)


Several European countries have recently been confronted with mutually arranged confrontations between hooligan groups in a predesignated setting. This article explores the significance of this form of collective violence for those involved and how this relates to existing collective violence theory. In addition to international and national questionnaires and subsequent in-depth interviews with police officials, two case studies were conducted and compared with a ‘regular’ (not mutually arranged) hooligan confrontation. We also assessed the criminal history and psychological traits of individuals participating in mutually arranged fights (n = 38) and individuals taking part in a regular confrontation (n = 76). Our results indicate that the meaning of mutually arranged confrontations differs importantly from that of spontaneous collective violence. Furthermore, data indicate that criminal career measures differ between individuals who are involved in mutually arranged confrontations and spontaneous collective violence. Theoretical implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean journal of criminology
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 1 Jan 2020


  • Hooliganism
  • arranged confrontation
  • collective violence
  • psychological traits

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