Vigilantism is the practice of using private methods of obtaining justice and/or enforcing social control when the state is unable or unwilling to do so. A vigilante, in the formal sense of the word, is a member of a vigilance committee. This is a group or organization voluntarily constituted to “take the law into their own hands” in place of the justice system of an incipient, weak, or failed state. Vigilantes often create alternative courts and punishment mechanisms in lieu of those offered by the state. In the American narrative, ...

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