Authority and legitimacy: A quantitative study of youth's perceptions on the Brazilian police

Nikolaos Stamatakis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

3 Citations (Scopus)


Today, the majority of research has focused on legitimacy, while much less attention has been given to the sources of trust in the police (Nix et al., 2014). Limited attention has been also paid to the examination of legitimacy of the police services as viewed by those they serve (Bottoms & Tankebe, 2013), especially by the young people. Hence, the current study aims to add to this body of research in three ways. First, it examines the factors that influence peoples' beliefs about the police and their intentions to cooperate or exhibit confidence. Second, this study constitutes one of the first empirical analyses that highlight the importance of examining the relationship between police authority and legitimacy in Brazil. Aiming to understand the dynamics among those notions in relation to trust and obedience, the empirical part of the present study is conducted in the district of Jardim Ângela (Sao Paolo); once considered as the most violent urban region in the world. The final contribution lies in its focus on early adolescence as the particular age forms a crucial period in peoples' legal socialization (Dirikx & Van den Bulck, 2014). The statistical analysis shows significant relationships between the frequency of obedience in laws and trust in the police, and dimensions of perceived legitimacy.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPolice Brutality, Racial Profiling, and Discrimination in the Criminal Justice System
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages63
ISBN (Electronic)9781522510895
ISBN (Print)9781522510888
Publication statusPublished - Nov 17 2016
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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