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Cover of Proud to Punish by Gilles Favarel-Garrigues and Laurent Gayer, Translated by Cynthia Schoch and Trista Selous
Proud to Punish
The Global Landscapes of Rough Justice
Gilles Favarel-Garrigues and Laurent Gayer, Translated by Cynthia Schoch and Trista Selous


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January 2024
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Hardcover ISBN: 9781503636569
Paperback ISBN: 9781503637672
Ebook ISBN: 9781503637689

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A magisterial comparative study, Proud to Punish recenters our understanding of modern punishment through a sweeping analysis of the global phenomenon of "rough justice": the use of force to settle accounts and enforce legal and moral norms outside the formal framework of the law. While taking many forms, including vigilantism, lynch mobs, people's courts, and death squads, all seekers of rough justice thrive on the deliberate blurring of lines between law enforcers and troublemakers. Digital networks have provided a profitable arena for vigilantes, who use social media to build a following and publicize their work, as they debase the bodies of the accused for purposes of edification and entertainment. It is this unabashed pride to punish, and the new punitive celebrations that actualize, publicize, and commercialize it, that this book brings into focus. Recounted in lively prose, Proud to Punish is both a global map of rough justice today and an insight into the deeper nature of punishment as a social and political phenomenon.

About the authors

Gilles Favarel-Garrigues is a CNRS Senior Research Professor at Sciences Po-CERI, Paris. He is the author of Policing Economic Crime in Russia: From Soviet Planned Economy to Privatisation (2010).

Laurent Gayer is a CNRS Senior Research Professor at Sciences Po-CERI, Paris. He is the author of Karachi: Ordered Disorder and the Struggle for the City (2014).

"Proud to Punish offers a brilliant, compelling analysis of contemporary vigilantism and the politics of extrajudicial punishment. The authors offer innovative insights into crimefighting discourses, retributive violence, its public reception, and responses from law enforcement authorities; and vividly illustrate how these factors become implicated in local and global vigilante configurations."

—Atreyee Sen, co-editor of Global Vigilantes: Perspectives on Violence and Justice

"Gilles Favarel-Garrigues and Laurent Gayer lead us on a visceral journey across the globe to understand contemporary vigilantism. With a rare blend of theoretical sophistication and empirical grounding, Proud to Punish asks us to confront the fact that vigilantism is neither a relic of the past, nor a product of failed states, but rather a broadly embraced force of the present."

—Harel Shapira, The University of Texas at Austin

"Proud to Punish is a must-read for all interested in global vigilantism and lynching. Admirably capacious in ranging across space and time, the book offers significant insights on the rough justice impulse in a wide variety of contemporary and historical contexts."

—Michael J. Pfeifer, author of The Roots of Rough Justice: Origins of American Lynching