The Legitimacy of Police and Courts Around the World




Denney, Joel Ellis

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This dissertation analyzed global differences in the legitimacy of police and courts, employing multilevel modeling strategies to measure relationships between legitimacy and individual-level concepts including prior victimization, fear of crime, fear of war and terrorism, vicarious experience, group identity, social capital, and moral alignment, while accounting for the influence of national-level variation in the homicide rate and the freedom score across 47 different countries. This research examined to what extent the effects of individual-level sources of legitimacy varied between countries and whether the included national-level characteristics could explain some of this variation. In addition, supplementary analyses explored whether these relationships varied when the legitimacy of police and courts were investigated separately. Results demonstrated significant cross-national variation in the effects of nearly all included explanatory variables and provided some indication of the extent to which national-level characteristics influence these individual-level relationships. In addition, findings revealed differences between police and courts in the effects of some predictors and the extent of random variation in these effects across countries.



Legitimacy, Confidence, Police, Courts, Police legitimacy, Multilevel model


Denney, J. E. (2022). <i>The legitimacy of police and courts around the world</i> (Unpublished dissertation). Texas State University, San Marcos, Texas.


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