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Special Issue: Police Legitimacy

Special issue call for papers from Policing

Policing: An International Journal of Police Strategies and Management invites submissions for a special issue on Police Legitimacy, edited by dr. Antoinette Verhage, drs. Anjuli Van Damme & drs. Jannie Noppe. Authors are invited to present their empirical data on four fields of study that are related to the theme of police legitimacy.
Police legitimacy keeps being challenged in many ways. This can be through cases of excessive use of force by police officers (such as the case of J. Jacob, a man with hallucinations who died after a violent police intervention, a case that was recently highly mediatized in Belgium), but is also illustrated by the relatively low levels of willingness to cooperate with the police in preventing and fighting crime. Police legitimacy (see also Tyler, 2004) is built around several important axes: that of public support and cooperation, the fact that this is based on the level of trust that people have in the police (giving an impetus to obey their requests), that of the extent to which the public assess the way in which the police exercise their authority (and hence their monopoly of violence) and that of the police officers’ self-confidence in the moral validity of their claims to exercise power over others (Bottoms & Tankebe, 2013). Police legitimacy is however also affected by the level of oversight on police practices, and the level of accountability that is associated with the police organization. After all, oversight mechanisms establish accountability instruments that allow for transparency and democratic checks and balances.

This special issue aims at gathering the latest empirical studies on the following four axes:
(1) Police legitimacy and trust
(2) Police legitimacy and the use of force
(3) Police legitimacy and accountability and/or oversight mechanisms
(4) Police legitimacy and citizen interaction

Submission of abstracts (max. one page): before September, 15, 2015. Abstracts should contain the essence of the paper, referring to the empirical data that will be presented. They may be sent to [email protected] and [email protected]. The guest editors will select all relevant papers and inform the authors by November 1st.

Manuscripts should be received no later than June, 1, 2016. These should be submitted to the Journal’s Scholar One submission site at
All manuscripts will undergo blind peer review. Manuscripts should not exceed 7,500 words, including tables, figures, and references. The word limit is a strict guideline in order to allow for a number of high quality manuscripts to be included in the special issue.
Style and formatting guidelines for authors and additional information are available at: