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Violence Research Centre


Dr Justice Tankebe has published a paper entitled Cooperation with the Police Against Corruption: Exploring the Roles of Legitimacy, Deterrence and Collective Action Theories in The British Journal of Criminology.

Corruption is a global problem. The United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) identified it as a key issue in organised crime and terrorism in a 2017 report. This study is based on survey data from a sample of 530 final-year university students at a large state university in Ghana. The paper considers cooperation, deterrence, effectiveness, procedural justice and the concept of unlawfulness.



In explaining public willingness to cooperate with the police, researchers have disproportionally emphasized legitimacy. Deterrence is presumed to be irrelevant; where it is considered, the approach appears perfunctory. Using survey data from 530 young adults in Ghana, this study examines the relative importance of deterrence and legitimacy perceptions in shaping willingness to report corruption transactions to the police. The results showed that perceptions of legitimacy did not affect the young adults’ willingness to report corruption to the police. The most important and consistent predictors of willingness to report corruption to the police were deterrence-based perceptions, specifically, of the certainty of being apprehended for engaging in corrupt transactions, of the severity of sanctions against such transactions and of the perceived cooperative intentions of other citizens. Deterrence proved particularly salient among those who claimed ignorance of where to report corrupt transactions.


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