Policing in a Lawless Society: A Study of Police Legitimacy and Procedural Justice in Nigeria

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis


This thesis makes a number of contributions to the literature on procedural justice and police legitimacy. It does so using a sample of respondents from Nigeria. It explores whether public perceptions of procedural justice are more or less influential than perceptions of police effectiveness in determining whether police will be perceived as legitimate, and by extension, foster people’s self-reported willingness to voluntary comply with the law and cooperate with police. Studies mostly from US, UK, and Australia strongly suggest police legitimacy as a mediating factor between perceptions of procedural justice and self-reported law-abiding behaviour (such as compliance with the law and willingness to cooperate with police). However, this perspective contradicts findings from Africa; here, studies show that police are most likely to engender legitimacy or motivate compliance related behaviour when the police are perceived to be effective in crime control, use sanction, and threats of force. The findings of the current thesis support both perspectives.

Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Griffith University Queensland
  • Murphy, Kristina, Supervisor, External person
  • Stenning, Philip, Supervisor, External person
Award date11 Oct 2016
Publication statusSubmitted - Apr 2016
Externally publishedYes

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