Chapter

‘A Voice Within’: Power-Holders’ Perspectives On Authority And Legitimacy

Anthony Bottoms and Justice Tankebe

in Legitimacy and Criminal Justice

Published in print November 2013 | ISBN: 9780198701996
Published online January 2014 | e-ISBN: 9780191772887 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198701996.003.0005
‘A Voice Within’: Power-Holders’ Perspectives On Authority And Legitimacy

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Legitimacy is now a well-established concept in the literature on criminal justice. However, the research so far completed has focused almost exclusively on what might be called audience legitimacy, that is, the legitimacy of criminal justice services as viewed by those they serve (from the general public to convicted offenders). This research tradition has been very fruitful, but it is incomplete, because it fails to examine legitimacy from the perspective of the power-holder – an important omission given that, conceptually, legitimacy is best viewed as an ongoing dialogue, in which power-holders claim legitimate authority, that claim is responded to by audiences, power-holders might adjust their claims in the light of audience responses, and so on (Bottoms and Tankebe 2012). The aim of this chapter is to develop this dialogic framework further by focusing in more detail on the topic of power-holders' perspectives on issues relating to legitimacy.

Keywords: legitimacy; dialogue; power-holders; self-confidence; audience

Chapter.  11959 words. 

Subjects: Criminal Law ; Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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