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http://ssrn.com/abstract=1984957
 
 

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Monopolizing Force? Police Legitimacy and Public Attitudes toward the Acceptability of Violence


Jonathan Jackson


London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology

Aziz Z. Huq


University of Chicago Law School

Ben Bradford


University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Tom Tyler


Yale University - Law School

May 9, 2013

Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Forthcoming

Abstract:     
Why do people believe that violence is acceptable? In this paper we study people’s normative beliefs about the acceptability of violence to achieve social control (as a substitute for the police, for self-protection and the resolution of disputes) and social change (through violent protests and acts to achieve political goals). Addressing attitudes towards violence among young men from various ethnic minority communities in London, we find that procedural justice is strongly correlated with police legitimacy, and that positive judgments about police legitimacy predicts more negative views about the use of violence. We conclude with the idea that police legitimacy has an additional, hitherto unrecognized, empirical property – by constituting the belief that the police monopolise rightful force in society, legitimacy can create a ‘crowding out’ effect on positive views of private violence.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 31

Keywords: Attitudes towards violence, public trust, procedural justice, institutional legitimacy

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Date posted: January 14, 2012 ; Last revised: May 10, 2013

Suggested Citation

Jackson, Jonathan and Huq, Aziz Z. and Bradford, Ben and Tyler, Tom, Monopolizing Force? Police Legitimacy and Public Attitudes toward the Acceptability of Violence (May 9, 2013). Psychology, Public Policy and Law, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1984957 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1984957

Contact Information

Jonathan Jackson
London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)
Aziz Z. Huq (Contact Author)
University of Chicago Law School ( email )
1111 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Ben Bradford
University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology ( email )
Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom
Tom Tyler
Yale University - Law School ( email )
P.O. Box 208215
New Haven, CT 06520-8215
United States
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