Dull Compulsion or Perceived Legitimacy? Assessing Why People Comply with the Law in Nigeria

Oluwagbenga Akinlabi, Kristina Murphy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Do people living in societies rife with police corruption comply with the law because they perceive police as legitimate or because of their feelings of endemic powerlessness (i.e., what Tankebe (2009) refers to as dull compulsion)? Prior studies have shown that compliance is driven primarily by perceptions that authorities and their laws are legitimate and entitled to be obeyed. Using cross-sectional survey data collected from Southwest Nigeria, this study found that perceptions of police effectiveness and procedural justice were related to Nigerians’ self-reported compliance with the law. Importantly, and unexpectedly, neither dull compulsion nor perceptions of police legitimacy were related to Nigerians’ self-reported compliance behaviour. The implications of these findings for policing in postcolonial African societies are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)186-201
Number of pages15
JournalPolice Practice and Research
Volume19
Issue number2
Early online date4 Feb 2018
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Mar 2018
Externally publishedYes

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