18 Pages Posted: 14 Jun 2012 Last revised: 9 Aug 2012
Date Written: June 14, 2012
This paper explores the idea that to confer legitimacy on the police is to feel not only obligated to obey the police but also morally aligned with the values of the police. A national probability survey of adults in England and Wales supports an extended version of Tyler’s procedural justice model of public cooperation with legal authorities. We find especially strong correlations between (a) negative contact with the police, (b) trust in police procedural justice, (c) obligation to obey the police (recognition of police authority) and moral alignment with the police (an endorsement of police values) and (d) willingness to cooperate with legal authorities. Our conclusions focus on an enlarged conception of police legitimacy that includes both recognition and justification of police power. If one part of legitimacy is disconnected from moral substance, and another part of legitimacy is connected to shared value positions, what does this mean for the influence of legitimacy in diverse societies?
Keywords: public confidence, trust, legitimacy, cooperation, contact with the police
JEL Classification: K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation
Jackson, Jonathan and Bradford, Ben and Hough, Mike and Myhill, Andy and Quinton, Paul and Tyler, Tom, On the Justification and Recognition of Police Power: Broadening the Concept of Police Legitimacy (June 14, 2012). Yale Law School, Public Law Working Paper No. 251; Oxford Legal Studies Research Paper No. 32/2012 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2084428 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2084428
By Ben Bradford