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Legitimacy and Criminal JusticeAn International Exploration$
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Justice Tankebe and Alison Liebling

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780198701996

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701996.001.0001

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Dialogue And Dialectic: Police Legitimacy And The New Professionalism

Dialogue And Dialectic: Police Legitimacy And The New Professionalism

(p.293) 14 Dialogue And Dialectic: Police Legitimacy And The New Professionalism
Legitimacy and Criminal Justice

Peter Neyroud

Lawrence Sherman

Oxford University Press

Police legitimacy depends on a continuing dialectic between the contradictory demands of the many audiences of police practice, which is central to the problem of order. The contradictory and multi-centric character of these demands is inherent in the nature of the police task, often seen as preserving liberty while reducing liberty. In this context, police legitimacy may be established not just on the basis of effectiveness under the rule of law, but on demonstrated police mastery of a complex body of knowledge generated by scientific methods of testing and analysis.. Yet the mere development or existence of such knowledge alone cannot achieve this goal. Only by proactively cultivating a dialogue with police audiences (Bottoms and Tankebe 2012) can police leaders explain the evidence for police decisions, and use the idea of police competence for its effectiveness as a central basis of public perceptions of policing as legitimate.

Keywords:   legitimacy, professionalism, dialogue, dialectic

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