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Excédés par le présumé laxisme des tribunaux, les justiciers autoproclamés s'évertuent à punir par eux-mêmes les fauteurs de trouble. Violant la loi pour maintenir l'ordre, ils s'improvisent détectives, juges et bourreaux. Adeptes du lynchage et autres châtiments spectaculaires, ils trouvent un nouveau public sur les réseaux sociaux. Des groupes d'autodéfense du Far West aux chasseurs de pédophiles en Russie contemporaine, les justiciers hors-la-loi sont typiquement des hommes blancs, réactionnaires et xénophobes. Toutefois, mouvements révolutionnaires et défenseurs des dominés ne s'interdisent pas de manier, à leur tour, le fouet et le feu. L'auto-justice compte en outre de fervents zélateurs dans les services répressifs. Et quand policiers et paramilitaires s'affranchissent du cadre légal pour nettoyer la société, ils précipitent l'avènement de l'État justicier.

in Faire, défaire la démocratie. De Moscou, Bogota et Téhéran au conseil de l'Europe Sous la direction de BONNARD Pascal, DAKOWSKA Dorota, GOBILLE Boris Publié en 2021-04-08
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[Résumé de l'ouvrage] Alors que les régimes autoritaires tendent à se durcir et que les libertés publiques sont de plus en plus remises en question dans les démocraties libérales, le formalisme démocratique (norme électorale, expression de la « société civile », dispositifs participatifs, etc.) continue d’être très largement mobilisé comme source de légitimation interne et internationale.

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Moral entrepreneurs who volunteer to enforce rules by themselves have spread in 2010s Russia. As ‘rule enforcers’ they patrol the streets to catch offenders. Some of these enforcers have conflictual relations with the police, while others operate in cooperation with it. This essay describes the development of vigilante justice in contemporary Russia. Two particularities of the Russian case are striking. First, the activities of several citizen policing initiatives are in fact recorded and posted on YouTube and VKontakte, where they reach a large audience, generating support for their activities and, in particular, for the leaders of such groups. Second, the development of these groups is not the simple outcome of a powerless state failing to maintain order or to fight crime. The essay will reveal how these new forms of policing contribute, paradoxically, to the strengthening of state authority.

in Introducing Vigilant Audiences Sous la direction de TROTTIER Daniel, GABDULHAKOV Rashid Publié en 2020-10
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Since the beginning of the 2010s, vigilante groups have appeared in the streets and on the Internet in Russia. Acting in the name of civil society, these "activists” (aktivisty) patrol the streets in order to find badly parked vehicles, inspect shops in order to check whether they sell expired products or hunt and trap alleged paedophiles. This paper focuses on public debates about Russian vigilante groups, id est on controversial issues surrounding their activity. It considers who voices the public critique and what exactly is criticized. The discussions encompass issues such as legality and morality of vigilantes’ acts, their retributions, their social usefulness and their efficiency. But do vigilantes care about critique, and how does critique affect their activity? The theoretical framework of this paper is influenced by pragmatic sociology, particularly the analysis of controversies, which emphasizes the role of the audience in public disputes. As a case-study, this paper focuses on a particular group, named Lev Protiv. Founded in 2014 and based in Moscow, this vigilante group presents itself as a "social project”, whose mission is to patrol train and metro stations, commercial areas and public gardens, urging smokers and drinkers to respect the law.

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Fariba Adelkhah et Roland Marchal, chercheurs au Centre de recherches internationales (CERI) de Sciences Po, ont été arrêtés en Iran au début du mois de juin 2019. Incarcérés depuis lors, ils sont retenus dans la prison d'Evin, au nord de Téhéran. Leurs collègues se mobilisent pour leur libération. Dans cet ouvrage de combat, ils utilisent les outils de la recherche pour analyser de telles situations de crise politique et diplomatique, rappellent la fragilité de l’indépendance scientifique et les périls qu’encourent quotidiennement des centaines d’universitaires sur de nombreux terrains internationaux pour faire avancer la connaissance.

in Pour Fariba Adelkhah et Roland Marchal. Chercheurs en périls Sous la direction de COLONOMOS Ariel Publié en 2020-03-19
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Ce livre offre une trace écrite à un événement qui assumait d’emblée de ne pas être un colloque comme les autres, mais de contribuer à la mobilisation en faveur de la libération de Fariba Adelkhah et de Roland Marchal en proposant, le 31 janvier 2020 à Sciences Po, une journée de débats destinés à un large public. Les participants étaient invités à réfléchir aux diverses questions – politiques, juridiques, éthiques – que la détention injuste de nos deux collègues soulève : les chercheurs captifs sont-ils des prisonniers scientifiques ou politiques ? Quel droit et quelle justice pour ce genre d’otages ? Quelles sont les expériences dont peut se nourrir la communauté académique pour faire face à de telles atteintes ?

in Global Crime Sous la direction de FAVAREL-GARRIGUES Gilles, TANNER Samuel, TROTTIER Daniel Publié en 2020-01-14
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Through a conceptual and geographical tour informed by case studies, this special issue provides a fine-grained contribution on digital vigilantism that brings a more detailed portrait of the participants, contents and contexts of digital vigilantism. Further work remains to be conducted, and questions remain open, such as the issue of the audiences of digital vigilantism audience (Trottier et al., forthcoming). In the meantime, we hope that this special issue constitutes a preliminary attempt that will generate interest among media, communication, political science, sociology, anthropology and criminology scholars to further develop knowledge on a growing social control phenomenon that has the capacity to dramatically influence relations and trust between social, cultural, religious and political communities.

The rise of a reactionary political agenda in favour of traditional values led to the launching of an anti-paedophile campaign in Russia in the early 2010s. Taken on by ‘moral entrepreneurs’ well known by the general public for their familialist ideology and homophobic speeches, the issue of paedophilia was used to justify the adoption of legislative measures reinforcing a clampdown on child abuse and punishing those who disseminate propaganda about ‘non-traditional’ sexual relations to minors. This political agenda fuelled the emergence in Russian cities of self-proclaimed and competing ‘rule enforcers’, who began acting like vigilantes, setting traps for presumed paedophiles, purportedly in order to defend children. Contributing to a man-hunt atmosphere, these volunteers mix features of classical and digital vigilantism. However, they use digital tools not only to gather evidence or to publicise the identity of an alleged offender, but also to make a profit.

in Global Crime Publié en 2020-01-14
TANNER Samuel
TROTTIER Daniel
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More Share Options Previous article View issue table of contents Next article In Europe and America, political mobilisations have emboldened citizens to monitor and harass individuals based on categories of suspicion, for instance illegal migrants. These mobilisations, in turn, have spawned counter-movements seeking to render perpetrators of hate-speech and harassment visible and accountable. Depending on the cause defended and the political context, governments may even explicitly support citizen groups that publicise and denounce suspected wrongdoing by other citizens. Digital media cultures facilitate the sharing of evidence of offensive acts, but also the shaming of targeted individuals and a broader moralising against criminal or otherwise undesirable populations. Visibility, as manifest through the public and open distribution of a target’s personal details, stands as a central feature of contemporary vigilante campaigns...

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Moscow, 2012. About fifteen young men meet near a metro station in an outlying district to conduct an antidrug raid under the supervision of Arkadii Grichishkin, the leader of Molodezhnyi Antinarkoticheskii Spetsnaz (MAS, Youth Antidrug Commando). Some of them wearing hoodies, they complacently show the cameraman the weapons they carry: pickaxe handles, hammers, and an axe.1 Confident in themselves and in search of action, they move towards a kiosk selling cigarettes. One of them is filmed as he is buying some Spice—a popular synthetic drug, at that time not included on the official list of prohibited substances. When he gets back to the group and shows the Spice bag, the vigilantes cover the kiosk with stickers and graffiti (“Death sold here,” “I kill children with impunity”), damage it with their weapons, and throw a smoke bomb inside in order to catch the seller. In this video, the justice makers leave the alleged drug dealer to the police, but in other cases they often add their own punishments once the “prey” is captured, molesting him, tying him to a pole, or splashing him with paint. In one of their videos the alleged drug dealer is covered not only with paint but also with feathers.

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