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Book Cover
Author Smith, Nicholas Rush, author

Title Contradictions of democracy : vigilantism and rights in post-apartheid South Africa / Nicholas Rush Smith
Published New York, NY : Oxford University Press, [2019]
Online access available from:
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Description 1 online resource
Series Oxford studies in culture and politics
Oxford studies in culture & politics
Contents Vigilantism and the contradictions of democratic state formation -- The people's justice: historical antecedents of contemporary vigilantism -- Spectacles of state craft: the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and post-apartheid law making -- Rights in translation: vigilantism and the meanings of institutional effectiveness and failure -- Taking charge: the contradictory pleasures of citizen crime fighting -- The risks and rewards of vigilantism -- The racial geographies of criminal panic: protesting crime in the suburbs -- Against vigilantism: citizen and state action to combat vigilantism -- Law-making and state-making as vigilantism
Summary Despite being one of the world's most vibrant democracies, vigilantism is regularly practiced in South Africa. In any given year, police estimate between 5 and 10 percent of the country's murders result from vigilante violence. Vigilantism is also frequent in other democracies across Latin America, Asia, and Africa. High rates of vigilantism are particularly puzzling in South Africa, though, given that it underwent a celebrated transition to democracy, has a lauded constitution, and enacted massive reforms of the state's legal institutions following democratization. 'Contradictions of Democracy' asks why vigilantism is prevalent in South Africa, asks what South Africa reveals about vigilantism in other emerging democracies, and uses vigilantism to explore contradictions of democratic state formation generally
Bibliography Includes bibliographical references and index
Notes Online resource; title from digital title page (viewed on February 27, 2019)
Subject Crime -- Government policy -- South Africa
Vigilantes -- South Africa
Crime -- Government policy.
Social conditions.
South Africa -- Social conditions -- 21st century
South Africa.
Form Electronic book
ISBN 0190847220 (electronic bk.)
9780190847227 (electronic bk.)