School of Law

Theorising and Researching Police Legitimacy

16 March 2010 | 5.00pm | Seminar
Beech Grove House, University of Leeds

Legitimacy is something of a contemporary shibboleth in police studies. Yet it remains under-theorised. This presentation provides some preliminary thoughts on the subject. The main claim advanced is that a full explanation of police legitimacy entails dealing with three necessary dimensions: the judgements of citizens about the moral validity of police practices (external legitimacy); the police’s own assessments of their legitimacy (internal legitimacy); and, a higher-order legitimacy against which both external and internal legitimacy may be assessed.

Justice Tankebe is a British Academy Postdoctoral researcher at the Institute of Criminology and a fellow at Fitzwilliam College, Cambridge University. He is originally from Ghana, where he studied for his first degree in sociology before moving to Cambridge for his doctoral studies. His research interests are in the fields of policing, corruption, legitimacy and procedural justice, comparative criminology and social theory. His current research is focused on constructions of legitimacy in ethnically-diverse boroughs in London.

Location Details

Seminar Room
Beech Grove House
University of Leeds


Beech Grove House is number 33 on the Campus Map.

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