Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2132609
 
 

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What Price Fairness When Security is at Stake? Police Legitimacy in South Africa


Ben Bradford


University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Aziz Z. Huq


University of Chicago - Law School

Jonathan Jackson


London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology

Benjamin J. Roberts


Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC)

August 20, 2012

Bradford, B., Huq A., Jackson, J. and Roberts, B. (2013). ‘What Price Fairness When Security is at Stake? Police Legitimacy in South Africa’, Regulation and Governance, doi: 10.1111/rego.12012

Abstract:     
The legitimacy of legal authorities – particularly the police – is central to the state’s ability to function in a normatively justifiable and effective manner. Studies, mostly conducted in the US and UK, regularly find that procedural justice is the most important antecedent of police legitimacy, with judgements about other aspects of its behaviour – notably, its effectiveness – appearing less relevant. But this idea has received only sporadic testing in less cohesive societies where social order is more tenuous, resources to sustain it scarcer, and where the position of the police is less secure. This paper considers whether the link between process fairness and legitimacy holds in the challenging context of present day South Africa. In a high crime and socially divided society do people still emphasise procedural fairness, or are they more interested in instrumental effectiveness? How is the legitimacy of the police influenced by the wider problems faced by the South African state? We find procedural fairness judgements play a key role, but also that South Africans place greater emphasis on police effectiveness (and concerns about crime). We also find that police legitimacy is associated with citizens’ judgements about the wider success and trustworthiness of the state. This opens up new directions for legitimacy research in the context of policing and criminal justice.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 21

Keywords: public confidence, trust, legitimacy, cooperation, contact with the police

JEL Classification: K40

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Date posted: August 20, 2012 ; Last revised: March 11, 2013

Suggested Citation

Bradford, Ben and Huq, Aziz Z. and Jackson, Jonathan and Roberts, Benjamin J., What Price Fairness When Security is at Stake? Police Legitimacy in South Africa (August 20, 2012). Bradford, B., Huq A., Jackson, J. and Roberts, B. (2013). ‘What Price Fairness When Security is at Stake? Police Legitimacy in South Africa’, Regulation and Governance, doi: 10.1111/rego.12012. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2132609 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2132609

Contact Information

Ben Bradford (Contact Author)
University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology ( email )
Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom
Aziz Z. Huq
University of Chicago - Law School ( email )
1111 E. 60th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
Jonathan Jackson
London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology ( email )
Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)
Benjamin J. Roberts
Human Sciences Research Council of South Africa (HSRC) ( email )
South Africa
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