Procedural Justice and the Unintended Role of Street-Level Bureaucrats in Prompting Citizens to Act as Vigilantes

Ofek Edri-Peer, Nissim Cohen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

What role do the perceptions of clients about the procedural justice that street-level bureaucrats (SLBs) use when implementing policy play in prompting citizens to engage in vigilante actions? Using qualitative methods, we examine the unintended effects of SLBs’ implementation of policy on citizens’ vigilantism. We contribute to the literature by showing that procedural justice on the street level is in fact an important factor in citizens’ decisions to act as vigilantes. Our findings identified three significant factors in these decisions: the citizens’ ability to voice their complaint, the sense that they were treated respectfully and their trust that the police officers would do what they could to deal with their complaint. Furthermore, we also demonstrated that citizens and SLBs do not share the same perceptions of the role of the police as service providers, and that this gap increases citizens’ motivations to act independently.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)51-63
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Review of Public Administration
Volume53
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Feb 2023
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • police
  • procedural justice
  • street-level bureaucrats
  • vigilantism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration
  • Marketing

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