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Organizing vigilante lynching: a neo-institutional perspective

Topics and Issues from European Research

Thomas Klatetzki

Thomas Klatetzki aims at explaining the practice of lynching with the help of institutional theory. His chapter starts with the description of a lynching event in Tláhuac (a borough of Mexico City), which forms a base to discuss the constitutive role of violence for social orders. His key argument is that the institution of punishment enables a group of vigilantes to organize and implement violent action and that, in the course of this process, violence generates social solidarity. Central in his chapter is the idea of ‘vigilante lynching as a distributed punishment script’. Klatetzki concludes with some brief comments on the regulative pillar of institutionalist organizational theory.