Library Header Image
LSE Research Online LSE Library Services

On the dual motivational force of legitimate authority

Jackson, Jonathan ORCID: 0000-0003-2426-2219 (2015) On the dual motivational force of legitimate authority. In: Bornstein, B. H. and Tomkins, A. J., (eds.) Cooperation and Compliance with Authority: The Role of Institutional Trust: 62nd Nebraska Symposium on Motivation. Springer Berlin / Heidelberg, New York, USA.

PDF - Accepted Version
Download (379kB) | Preview


In this chapter I consider two ways by which the legitimacy of legal authorities might motivate people to abide by the law. Following recent criminological research I define legitimacy along two different dimensions: the first is the public recognition of the rightful authority of an institution, and the second is a sense among citizens that the institution is just, moral and appropriate. Data from a randomized controlled trial of procedurally just policing provide further support for the idea that justice systems can secure compliance by (a) instilling in citizens a sense of deference and obligation, and (b) showing to citizens that they represent a requisite sense of moral appropriateness. While prior work has tended to focus on the idea that legitimacy shape compliance through felt obligation, the current analysis shows that compliance is predicted by both duty to obey and moral endorsement. Consistent with a good deal of existing evidence, the findings also indicate the importance of procedural justice and group identification in the production of institutional legitimacy. I conclude with the idea that legitimacy may be able to shape compliance through shape content-free obligation and shared moral appropriateness.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2015 Springer
Divisions: Methodology
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > K Law (General)
JEL classification: K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K40 - General
K - Law and Economics > K4 - Legal Procedure, the Legal System, and Illegal Behavior > K42 - Illegal Behavior and the Enforcement of Law
Date Deposited: 07 Jan 2015 14:31
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2024 02:39

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics