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Police Legitimacy in Action: Lessons for Theory and Practice

(Forthcoming, 2013) Bradford, B., Jackson, J. and Hough, M., ‘Police Legitimacy in Action: Lessons from Theory and Practice’, in Reisig, M. & Kane, R. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

16 Pages Posted: 21 Mar 2013  

Ben Bradford

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology

Mike Hough

University of London - Institute for Criminal Policy Research

Date Written: March 21, 2013

Abstract

This essay considers the nature and importance of legitimacy in the context of policing policy and practice. On what basis is police legitimacy established, maintained and undermined? What are the implications of the extant body of empirical evidence for policing policy and practice? We concentrate on Tyler’s procedural justice model. But we also consider the idea that police legitimacy is partly based on the strength of informal social control processes operating at the neighborhood level: citizens grant the police power in exchange for social order; they cede power and authority to the police in exchange for social regulation and justice; and this conferral of power and consent to police authority may, to some degree, depend upon the strength of social order at a local level.

Keywords: policing, legitimacy, procedural justice, policy design

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Bradford, Ben and Jackson, Jonathan and Hough, Mike, Police Legitimacy in Action: Lessons for Theory and Practice (March 21, 2013). (Forthcoming, 2013) Bradford, B., Jackson, J. and Hough, M., ‘Police Legitimacy in Action: Lessons from Theory and Practice’, in Reisig, M. & Kane, R. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Police and Policing. Oxford: Oxford University Press. . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2236691

Ben Bradford (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Centre for Criminology ( email )

Manor Road Building
Manor Road
Oxford, OX1 3UQ
United Kingdom

Jonathan Jackson

London School of Economics & Political Science - Department of Methodology ( email )

Houghton Street
London, WC2A 2AE
United Kingdom
+0044-207-955-7652 (Phone)

Mike Hough

University of London - Institute for Criminal Policy Research ( email )

Strand
London, WC2B 2LS
United Kingdom

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