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Police legitimacy, ideology and qualitative methods: a critique of procedural justice theory

Harkin, Diarmaid 2015, Police legitimacy, ideology and qualitative methods: a critique of procedural justice theory, Criminology and criminal justice, vol. 15, no. 5, pp. 594-612, doi: 10.1177/1748895815580397.

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Title Police legitimacy, ideology and qualitative methods: a critique of procedural justice theory
Author(s) Harkin, DiarmaidORCID iD for Harkin, Diarmaid orcid.org/0000-0002-9928-719X
Journal name Criminology and criminal justice
Volume number 15
Issue number 5
Start page 594
End page 612
Total pages 19
Publisher Sage
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2015-11
ISSN 1748-8958
1748-8966
Keyword(s) Social Sciences
Criminology & Penology
Ideology
police legitimacy
power
procedural justice
systems-justification theory
SYSTEM JUSTIFICATION THEORY
FIELD TRIAL
TRUST
PERCEPTIONS
FAIRNESS
COLONIALISM
COOPERATION
ENCOUNTERS
CONFIDENCE
CONTACT
Summary I argue that there are unconsidered complexities to police legitimacy and use examples from my study of police–public consultation forums in Edinburgh, Scotland to illustrate. I make a number of conceptual and methodological critiques by drawing upon Steven Lukes’ social theory on power to show how legitimacy can be a product of authority relations as much as it is a cause of authority relations. This view finds support from systems-justification theory. I also tackle Beetham’s conception of legitimacy and argue that there is evidence from police studies that the police breach his key antecedents to legitimacy without incurring the expected consequences. Furthermore, I take an original methodological approach to studying police legitimacy which reveals additional insights. For instance, Bottoms and Tankebe suggest legitimacy addresses multiple ‘audiences’; I would also add that it addresses multiple recipients as legitimacy is shown to vary among officers and positions of rank.
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1748895815580397
Field of Research 1602 Criminology
160205 Police Administration, Procedures and Practice
Socio Economic Objective 940499 Justice and the Law not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Copyright notice ©2015, Sage
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30075565

Document type: Journal Article
Collection: School of Humanities and Social Sciences
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