Trust in Justice: Notes on the Development of European Social Indicators
22 Pages Posted: 30 Nov 2010 Last revised: 17 Apr 2011
Date Written: November 30, 2010
A social indicators approach to trust in justice recognises that the police and criminal courts need public support and institutional legitimacy if they are to operate effectively and fairly. We present in this paper the conceptual and methodological tools to devise indicators of trust and legitimacy across Europe. First, we outline the conceptual roadmap for a comparative European analysis of trust in justice. Second, we describe the development process of a 45-item module in Round 5 of the European Social Survey that fields the survey indicators. Third, we present the findings from the quantitative piloting of the indicators in the UK and Bulgaria and document the final wording of the measures. Fourth, we consider the policy implications of the procedural justice model of criminal justice that underpins the current project: by demonstrating to citizens that they are both trustworthy and possess the authority to govern, institutions can enhance public cooperation and compliance.
(This is an extended, pre-publication version of a paper entitled ‘Developing European Indicators of Trust in Justice’, which will be published in 2011 in the European Journal of Criminology.)
Keywords: social indicators, trust in the police, social measurement, police legitimacy, compliance, measurement invariance
JEL Classification: K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation