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Professor Otto Adang
Visiting Fellow


Otto Adang, chair in public order management at the Police Academy of the Netherlands and visiting professor at the School of Psychology of the University of Liverpool, is interested in the way in which individuals regulate conflicts and social tensions in interaction with one another, and more specifically in aggression, reconciliation, collective behaviour and processes of social control. Systematic and structured observation in the field is his preferred research method. At the University of Liverpool, he aims to develop an M.Sc. in Public Order Management. At the police Academy of the Netherlands, he is in charge of the Research Programme "Managing Dangerous Situations", which he initiated in 1988. The programme focuses on interactions between police officers and citizens in a variety of (potentially) conflictuous or dangerous situations. Methodologically, the programme links to his original Ph.D. study on the development of quasi-aggressive behaviour in chimpanzees and his innovative post-doc research on public order policing in the Netherlands.

Otto has a strong interest in developing practically useful applications for his research findings and in establishing criteria for 'good practices'. So far, his activities have led to a number of innovations in police education and police practice. He developed the concept of "evaluation teams" to stimulate organisational learning with regard to public order management and the "goal approach analysis" which is becoming a standard in Dutch police training for managing dangerous situations. Also, he has been consulting police forces in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Portugal, Northern Ireland and South Africa. Both in the Netherlands and abroad, he is considered an expert on public order management, police use-of-force and football hooliganism.

From 1991 to 1997 he was attached as researcher and consultant to the PIOV Research Centre Public order and Safety (Hoogerheide, the Netherlands). From 1990 to 1991 he was a researcher at the Police Study Centre in Warnsveld, the Netherlands, Between 1985 and 1990 he was post-doc researcher at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands and did innovative comparative observational research on initiation and escalation of violence during critical public order incidents (football riots, political demonstrations, etc.) in the Netherlands. Between 1981 and 1985 he was researcher at the University of Utrecht and Arnhem Zoo, the Netherlands, where he coordinated behavioural research on the Arnhem Zoo chimpanzee colony and wrote his PhD thesis on the development of quasi-aggressive behaviour in chimpanzee. In this time he was scientific adviser to film-maker Bert Haanstra for his award-winning "The Family of Chimps" (Best Dutch scientific film, 1984).

From 1974 to 1981 Otto studied biology and ethnology at the University of Utrecht, the Netherlands.

Otto is (co-) author of nine books (e.g. Policing Euro 2000, with C. Cuvelier and To save lives, with E. Giebels) and has published over a hundred book chapters, reports and articles in Dutch and English.

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