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Why do people comply with the law? Legitimacy and the influence of legal institutions

Jackson, J. and Bradford, B. and Hough, Mike and Myhill, A. and Quinton, P. and Tyler, T.R. (2012) Why do people comply with the law? Legitimacy and the influence of legal institutions. British Journal of Criminology 52 (6), pp. 1051-1071. ISSN 0007-0955.

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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 conceptualization of legitimacy based on not just 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.

Item Type: Article
Keyword(s) / Subject(s): public confidence, public contact with the police, trust, legitimacy, compliance, policing by consent
School or Research Centre: Birkbeck Schools and Research Centres > School of Law
Depositing User: Administrator
Date Deposited: 21 Aug 2012 14:06
Last Modified: 08 Jul 2014 23:11

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