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Political LegitimacyNOMOS LXI$
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Jack Knight and Melissa Schwartzberg

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9781479888696

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: January 2020

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479888696.001.0001

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Evaluating Consensual Models of Governance

Evaluating Consensual Models of Governance

Legitimacy-Based Law

(p.257) 9 Evaluating Consensual Models of Governance
Political Legitimacy

Tom R. Tyler

NYU Press

Two models of legal authority are compared: coercive and consensual. The coercive model functions through the ability of officials to create and maintain a credible risk of punishment for wrongdoing. It operates through perceptions of risk. The consensual model is based on peoples’ willing acceptance of the obligation to follow the law. People accept that personal obligation when they regard the law as legitimate. Data from several large-scale surveys suggest the importance of legitimacy to compliance and cooperation and in particular provide a better basis for understanding willing cooperation than does a risk-based model. A further analysis of the antecedents of legitimacy demonstrates that procedural justice is the key antecedent of legitimacy.

Keywords:   legitimacy, compliance, cooperation, coercion, consent, legal authority

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