Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel National Police Academy

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POWER-HOLDER
LEGITIMACY:
THEORY AND EVIDENCE
Justice Tankebe
([email protected])
4th International Conference on Evidence
Based Policing (Cambridge, 5 July 2011)
Outline
• Conceptual Groundwork
• Correlates of Power-holder
Legitimacy
• Concluding Thoughts
The Return of a ‘Grand’ Concept
Trust
Confidence
Legitimacy
To condemn something as illegitimate is, I
think, implicitly to threaten defiance.
Calling a decision illegitimate adds the
suggestion that the decision is mistaken,
or lawless, or immoral, in a way or to a
degree that raises a question about
whether it should not be obeyed’
(Strauss 2005: 1854)
Police Legitimacy and Public
Behaviour
•
It encourages cooperation with the police
(Sunshine & Tyler 2003).
•
It facilitates acceptance of police decisions,
and general compliance with the law (Tyler
1990).
•
It generates a willingness to empower the
police (Sunshine and Tyler 2003).
•
Reduces reoffending, and support for
vigilante violence (Paternoster et al 1997;
Tankebe 2009).
Tyler’s Model of ‘Process-Based
Regulation’
Supportive
values
(legitimacy)
General
cooperation
•compliance
•cooperation
•empowerment
Procedural
elements
•quality of
decision making
•quality of
treatment
Process-based
judgments
•procedural justice
•motive-based trust
Immediate
decision
acceptance
Long-term
decision
acceptance
Source: Tyler (2003: 283.
Herbert’s ‘Conflicting Pathways to
Police Legitimacy’
• Subservience
• Separation
–
Democratic
– Liberal order (human rights)
– Professionalism
• Protection from citizen meddling
• Need for unquestioned authority
• Quest for prestige
• Generativity
– Police understandings shaping situations
– Deployment of moralistic frameworks (self-identity as
‘moral guardians’)
Power-holder
Legitimacy
The self-belief power-holders (e.g. police
officers) have in their moral right to govern
(Bottoms & Tankebe 2008)
People with power ‘must persuade
themselves that their fates are deserved
and therefore [morally] rightful (Kronman
1983).
Rulers need to believe that the power they
possess is morally justified, that they are
servants of a larger collective goal or system
of values surpassing mere determination to
perpetuate themselves in power, that their
exercise of power is not inescapably at odds
with hallowed standards of morality.
(Dennis Wrong 1995: 103).
Police Legitimacy
Defined
Legitimacy is the recognition of the
moral rightness of the police’s claim to
exercise power.
It consists in justifying simultaneously
police power and citizens’ obligation
towards obedience.
Adapted from Coicaud, J-M (2002)
WHAT FACTORS SHAPE
CONFIDENCE IN POWERHOLDER LEGITIMACY?
• Procedural Fairness
• Relational Social Capital (RSC)
• Performance
• Corruption
• Corruption reforms
Data & Method
• Sample of 181 officers in Accra (response
rate = 82%)
• Education: secondary school (80.1%);
tertiary education (19.9%)
• Length of service = 15 years (mean)
• Gender = 29.3% female
Findings
Model 1
Model 2
Model 3
ß
(s.e)
ß
(s.e)
ß
(s.e)
Gender
.04
.10
.06
.09
.07
.08
Education
.01
.11
.04
.11
.04
.10
-.15*
.02
-.22**
.02
-.22**
-.07
Effectiveness
---
---
.27**
.07
.12*
.07
Corruption
---
---
-.06
.10
-.05
.09
Corruption reforms
---
---
-.08
.05
-.08
.04
Relational Social Capital
---
---
---
---
.13*
.08
Procedural Fairness
---
---
---
---
.40***
.07
Individual Variables
Length of service
Performance
Internal Cohesion
Constant
.10
.30
.36
Adjusted R2
.01
.07
.28
N = 181; *p<0.05, **p<0.01, ***p<0.001
CONCLUSION
Does Power-holder Legitimacy
Matter?
• Responsible exercise of authority
• Stable and effective exercise of
authority
• A precondition for ‘external legitimacy’
• Organisational commitment; use of
force?
The problem of the
narcissistic power-holder
THANK YOU!
QUESTIONS?
Justice Tankebe
([email protected])
4th International Conference on Evidence
Base Policing (Cambridge, 5 July 2011)
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