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Implications of the Different Experiences of Corruption on Police Confidence and Legitimacy in Ghana: An Exploratory Study.

Addo, K O (2018) Implications of the Different Experiences of Corruption on Police Confidence and Legitimacy in Ghana: An Exploratory Study. PhD thesis, University of Essex.

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Abstract

Based on 6 months of fieldwork and conducting 9 sets of observation in Ghana, this thesis explores the effects of the different corruption experiences upon confidence in the police as well as police legitimacy. Since Tyler published his seminal work Why People Obey the Law, legitimacy and confidence in the criminal justice system has become an important concept in criminological analysis. Various studies have sought to clarify the meaning of legitimacy and to examine the factors that influence public perceptions of police legitimacy and confidence. Studies have emphasized the importance of procedural justice, distributive justice, and effectiveness of legal institutions. What remains under-researched in criminological discourse however, is the effects of police corruption upon public confidence and police legitimacy. An important exception is Tankebe’s (2010a) and Asif, Bradford and Zakar’s (2014) study. Yet both construct their study on a simple distinction between direct and indirect experiences of public corruption with the police. This overlooks the fact that there could be different types of direct and vicarious experiences (e.g. negative and positive experiences), with different effects on confidence and legitimacy. This study addresses these issues by examining the effects of both perceptions and different experiences of public-police corruption in Ghana. The research is focused on the experiences of corruption at the street level. Data was obtained from the police and retired police officers, commercial drivers, and private entrepreneurs (market traders). These actors encounter the police more often than any other, and that their expectations in corrupt encounters are conflicting. For example, while some members of the public condemn police corruption at police checkpoints, others, or the same people, in turn criticise and get infuriated at commercial drivers for failing to pay bribes to the police resulting in, for instance, unnecessary journey delays. The impact of these experiences on citizens’ perceptions of police legitimacy and confidence in the Ghanaian police are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Sociology, Department of
Depositing User: Kofi Addo
Date Deposited: 13 Sep 2018 10:02
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2018 10:02
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/22997

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