The influence of political dynamics on southern lynch mob formation and lethality

Ryan Hagen, Kinga Makovi, Peter Bearman

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    Existing literature focuses on economic competition as the primary causal factor in Southern lynching. Political drivers have been neglected, as findings on their effects have been inconclusive. We show that these consensus views arise from selection on a contingent outcome variable: whether mobs intent on lynching succeed. We constructed an inventory of averted lynching events in Georgia, Mississippi, and North Carolina-instances in which lynch mobs formed but were thwarted, primarily by law enforcement. We combined these with an inventory of lynching and analyzed them together to model the dynamics of mob formation, success, and intervention. We found that low Republican vote share is associated with a higher lethality rate for mobs. Lynching is better understood as embedded in a post-conflict political system, wherein all potential lynching events, passing through the prism of intervention, are split into successful and averted cases.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article numbersot093
    Pages (from-to)757-787
    Number of pages31
    JournalSocial Forces
    Volume92
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Dec 1 2013

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    event
    law enforcement
    political system
    voter
    driver
    economics
    Lynching
    literature

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • History
    • Anthropology
    • Sociology and Political Science

    Cite this

    The influence of political dynamics on southern lynch mob formation and lethality. / Hagen, Ryan; Makovi, Kinga; Bearman, Peter.

    In: Social Forces, Vol. 92, No. 2, sot093, 01.12.2013, p. 757-787.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Hagen, Ryan ; Makovi, Kinga ; Bearman, Peter. / The influence of political dynamics on southern lynch mob formation and lethality. In: Social Forces. 2013 ; Vol. 92, No. 2. pp. 757-787.
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