Future Challenges in the Study of Legitimacy and Criminal Justice
Yale University - Law School
London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology
May 1, 2013
Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 264
Studies conducted over the last several decades have established that legitimacy shapes law-related behavior. They also make it clear that we should broaden our framework for understanding both how to conceptualize and measure legitimacy and for exploring its antecedents and consequences. In this chapter we review recent efforts to address these questions. We first document an impressive array of empirical evidence on the importance of procedural justice and legitimacy in criminal justice practice and policy. We then consider the idea that an authority has legitimacy when subordinates offer their willing consent to defer to power-holders, and when this consent is grounded on the authority’s conformity to standards of legality (acting according to the law) and moral validity (reflected in a sense of shared moral purpose with citizens). We finish with a value-based perspective on human motivation, in which people willingly abide by the law because they feel that legal authorities are legitimate and therefore ought to be obeyed.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: Public confidence, trust, police legitimacy, cooperation, contact with the police
JEL Classification: K40
Date posted: September 5, 2012 ; Last revised: May 1, 2013
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