Deeply Embedded Core Normative Values and Legitimacy of Law Enforcement Authorities

Yoav Mehozay*, Roni Factor

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objectives: The current research proposes that beliefs about the legitimacy of law enforcement authorities also derive from core normative values (i.e., notions of the good and virtuous life) that stem from deeply embedded cultural orientations through which individuals operate in and interpret the world. Methods: We developed a typology of four sets of core normative value systems using multiple correspondence analysis. Data are from the European Social Survey, including 52,253 respondents from 27 countries. Results: Three of the four sets of core normative values show an association with levels of legitimacy. Conclusions: The findings provide preliminary support for our model and indicate that legitimacy perceptions are associated with core normative values, which may extend beyond individuals’ perceptions of enforcement institutions. This means that even optimal procedural conduct or efficiency may not affect the attitudes of some populations, particularly in diverse, multicultural societies. Taking into consideration, the effects of internalized core values can help inform community interventions by the police and other institutions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)151-180
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Research in Crime and Delinquency
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2017

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, © The Author(s) 2016.


  • legal compliance
  • legitimacy
  • multiple correspondence analysis
  • normative values


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