Severyns Ravenholt Seminar: Casting the First Stone: Understanding Attitudes towards Lynching in Brazil

David Skarbek, Brown University
Friday, January 15, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:00pm
Zoom Invitation

Please contact Kenya Amano via srscp@uw.edu to access the Zoom link.

Abstract:
Why do citizens support extrajudicial violence? While endorsement for vigilantism has significantly decreased in advanced democracies, lynchings remain tolerated throughout the developing world. In this pre-analysis plan, we propose three survey experiments to investigate (i) which criminal profiles citizens prefer for extralegal punishment,  (ii) how individuals justify mob violence, and (iii) whether information provision reduces support for vigilantism.  First, we run a conjoint experiment to identify criminal characteristics that are associated with higherlikelihood of lynching. In our second experiment, we show respondents a short article about a real lynching episode and ask them whether they see the mob’s motivations as legitimate. Lastly, we test whether providing information about the legal consequences of lynching, human rights guarantees, and the risk of retribution makes respondents less likely to endorse extralegal violence. We will run the experiments in Brazil, a country which has seen a sharp rise in vigilante attacks and currently experiences one lynching attempt per day. Our survey will be conducted online and include 2,000 participants.

Discussant: Megan Erickson, UW

Please contact Kenya Amano via srscp@uw.edu to access the Zoom link.