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Blurring the distinction between empirical and normative legitimacy? A commentary on ‘police legitimacy and citizen cooperation in China’

Jackson, Jonathan and Bradford, Ben (2019) Blurring the distinction between empirical and normative legitimacy? A commentary on ‘police legitimacy and citizen cooperation in China’. LSE Law, Society and Economy Working Papers (5/2019). London School of Economics and Political Science, Department of Law, London, UK.

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Identification Number: 10.2139/ssrn.3335644

Abstract

In a fascinating paper on the nature of police legitimacy in Southern China, Sun et al. (2018) present evidence that what have previously been treated as possible sources of legitimacy—public perceptions of police procedural justice, distributive justice, effectiveness and lawfulness—are in fact constituent components of legitimacy. We argue in this paper, that the empirical strategy used to reach this conclusion is not fit for purpose because both conceptual stances—possible sources of legitimacy or constituent components of legitimacy—are consistent with the same fitted statistical model. Ironically, therefore, Sun and colleagues end up assuming rather than discovering the normative bases on which people judge police legitimacy. To be sensitive to cultural context means using a methodology that does not a priori impose the preconditions of legitimacy. We illustrate this general point by analysing nationally representative data from 30 countries across Europe and beyond

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Additional Information: © 2019 The Authors
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
J Political Science > JQ Political institutions Asia
Date Deposited: 02 May 2019 14:39
Last Modified: 21 Jan 2020 00:45
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/100731

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