British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 52, No. 6, pp. 1051-1071, 2012
22 Pages Posted: 31 Jan 2012 Last revised: 13 Mar 2013
Date Written: February 5, 2012
This paper extends Tyler’s procedural justice model of public compliance with the law. Analysing data from a national probability sample of adults in England and Wales, we present a new conceptualisation of legitimacy based not just on the recognition of power but also the justification of power. We find that people accept the police’s right to dictate appropriate behaviour, not only when they feel a duty to obey officers, but also when they believe that the institution acts according to a shared moral purpose with citizens. Highlighting a number of different routes by which institutions can influence citizen behaviour, our broader normative model provides a better framework for explaining why people are willing to comply with the law.
Keywords: Public confidence, trust, legitimacy, compliance
JEL Classification: K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Jackson, Jonathan and Bradford, Ben and Hough, Mike and Myhill, Andy and Quinton, Paul and Tyler, Tom, Why Do People Comply with the Law? Legitimacy and the Influence of Legal Institutions (February 5, 2012). British Journal of Criminology, Vol. 52, No. 6, pp. 1051-1071, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1994490 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1994490