violence and democracy

Kirsch, Thomas G. 2010. Violence in the Name of Democracy: Community Policing, Vigilante Action and Nation-Building in South Africa. In: Domesticating Vigilantism in Africa, edited by Kirsch, Thomas G. & Tilo Grätz. Oxford: James Currey, 139-162.

“In this chapter, I look at the relationship between vigilante action and ideals of democracy in order to highlight a particular ‘pas de deux in which norm and transgression, regulation and exception, redefine each other’ (Comaroff and Comaroff 2006: 5). Generally speaking, I attempt to call the common antithetical depiction of vigilantism and democracy into question by dealing with a case of violent self-justice in present-day South Africa that, in a telling and disturbing way, shows how adherence to democratic ideals by citizens can produce vigilante action.”