Vigilantism - Wikipedia

Gunnar Larson g at
Fri Oct 14 04:40:25 PDT 2022

A vigilante (from Spanish, Italian and Portuguese “vigilante”, which means
"sentinel" or "watcher") is a person who practices or partakes in
vigilantism, or undertakes public safety and retributive justice without


According to political scientist Regina Bateson, vigilantism is the "the
extralegal prevention, investigation, or punishment of offenses."[1] The
definition has three components:

Extralegal: Vigilantism is done outside of the law (not necessarily in
violation of the law)

Prevention, investigation, or punishment: Vigilantism requires specific
actions, not just attitudes or beliefs
Offense: Vigilantism is a response to a perceived crime or violation of a
authoritative norm

Other scholars have defined "collective vigilantism" as "group violence to
punish perceived offenses to a community."
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