Legitimacy, Trust and Compliance: An Empirical Test of Procedural Justice Theory Using the European Social Survey
University of London - Institute for Criminal Policy Research
London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology
University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology
March 16, 2013
Hough, M., Jackson, J. and Bradford, B. ‘Legitimacy, Trust and Compliance: An Empirical Test of Procedural Justice Theory Using the European Social Survey’, in Tankebe, J. and Liebling, A. (eds.) Legitimacy and Criminal Justice: An International Exploration, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
This chapter presents findings from a large-scale empirical test of procedural justice theory, which we (and colleagues) designed using the fifth European Social Survey. The chapter first of all locates concerns about institutional legitimacy within a broader framework of ‘compliance theories.’ It then sets out its definitional stall in an attempt to clarify what is meant by the ‘slippery’ concept of legitimacy and how the term is used in different contexts. Then, in testing various hypotheses on procedural justice, we employ a tripartite definition of empirical (i.e. perceived) legitimacy. We define empirical legitimacy as the recognition and justification of the right to exercise power and influence, with influence mostly of the normative (rather than instrumental) variety, and importantly our tripartite notions of consent, moral alignment and legality accord with some well-established social psychological mechanisms of identification and internalisation.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 27
Keywords: Public confidence, trust, legitimacy, cooperation, compliance, contact with the police
JEL Classification: K40
Date posted: March 17, 2013 ; Last revised: May 9, 2013
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