Faculty Publications

Title

Policing in Northern Ireland: Community Control, Community Policing, and the Search for Legitimacy

Document Type

Article

Keywords

community policing, Northern Ireland, political legitimacy

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Urban Affairs Review

Volume

49

Issue

4

First Page

557

Last Page

592

Abstract

This article explores the recent struggles of Northern Ireland to create a legitimate police force that is viewed as responsive to the needs of both the Catholic/nationalist community and the Protestant/unionist community. Three types of legitimacy are explored: democratic legitimacy through popular control, professional legitimacy of trained public officials, and legitimacy through responsive implementation. Based on 102 qualitative interviews with community leaders and key actors within the process of police governance and community relations conducted between 2007 and 2010, this article concludes that progress has been made in establishing all three types of legitimacy but that the remaining deep sectarian divisions within the society, combined with recent economic difficulties, present serious challenges to police/community partnerships that will enhance the legitimacy of the police. © The Author(s) 2012.

Original Publication Date

7-1-2013

DOI of published version

10.1177/1078087412465581

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