Citizens’ trust in the police


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Assessing the impact of procedural justice, the instrumental approach, and proximity policing in an
international comparative perspective

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Citizens’ trust in the police

  1. 1. Citizens’ trust in the police Assessing the impact of procedural justice, the instrumental approach, and proximity policing in an international comparative perspective Master thesis of Dorian Schaap Research Master Social & Cultural Science Radboud University Nijmegen June 2012 Supervisor: Peer Scheepers Second reader: Jan Terpstra
  2. 2. 1 Contents List of Tables . . . . . . . . . . 2 List of Figures . . . . . . . . . . 2 List of Appendices . . . . . . . . . 2 Abstract . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Acknowledgements . . . . . . . . . 4 1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . 6 1.1 Trust and the police as representatives of the state . . . . 6 1.2 Trust and legitimacy . . . . . . . 6 1.3 The importance of trust and gaps in our knowledge . . . . 7 1.4 Research questions . . . . . . . 9 2 Theoretical framework and hypotheses . . . . . . 10 2.1 Introduction . . . . . . . . 10 2.2 The contextual research: macro-level approaches to institutional trust . . 12 2.3 Police science perspectives: three systematic approaches to police-public relationships 13 2.3.1 The procedural justice perspective . . . . . 14 2.3.2 The instrumental perspective . . . . . 16 2.3.3 The proximity policing perspective . . . . . 18 2.4 Control variables based on the demographic-attitudinal research branch . 21 2.5 Differential effects of macro-level determinants . . . . 24 2.6 Theoretical model of trust in the police . . . . . 25 2.7 Cross-country equivalence of trust in the police . . . . 26 3 Data and measurements . . . . . . . . 28 3.1 Main data source and dependent variable . . . . . 28 3.2 Contextual determinants and additional data sources. . . . 29 3.3 Micro-level determinants . . . . . . . 33 3.4 Control variables . . . . . . . . 35 4 The equivalence of trust in the police . . . . . . 38 4.1 Three forms of invariance . . . . . . . 38 4.2 Configural invariance . . . . . . . 41 4.3 Metric invariance. . . . . . . . 43 4.4 Scalar invariance . . . . . . . . 45 4.5 The equivalence of perceived procedural justice . . . . 47 4.6 Concluding remarks regarding measurement equivalence . . . 50 5 Analyses . . . . . . . . . 51 5.1 The presence of trust . . . . . . . 51 5.2 Determinants of trust in the police . . . . . . 52 5.2.1 Country-level determinants and trust . . . . 53 5.2.2 Constructing a full model of trust in the police . . . 54 5.2.3 Intermediary variables . . . . . . 59 5.2.4 Robustness checks . . . . . . 61 5.3 Summarizing the results . . . . . . . 62 6 Conclusions and discussion . . . . . . . 65 6.1 Three research questions . . . . . . . 65 6.2 Factors influencing trust . . . . . . . 66 6.2.1 Contextual research . . . . . . 66 6.2.2 The procedural justice perspective . . . . . 67 6.2.3 The instrumental perspective . . . . . 67 6.2.4 The proximity policing perspective . . . . . 69 6.2.5 Differential effects . . . . . . 70 6.2.6 Control variables . . . . . . . 70
  3. 3. 2 6.3 Discussion . . . . . . . . 71 6.4 Final notes . . . . . . . . 72 Literature . . . . . . . . . . 74 Appendices . . . . . . . . . . 81 List of tables Table 1 Index of proximity policing. . . . . . . . 33 Table 2 Descriptive table of all included variables . . . . . . 36 Table 3 Factor loadings of five items measuring institutional trust . . . . 44 Table 4 Results of scalar invariance tests for institutional trust. . . . . 46 Table 5 Results of scalar invariance tests for perceived procedural justice . . . 49 Table 6 Regression estimates of macro-level determinants on trust in the police . . 54 Table 7 Full multilevel regression model on trust in the police. . . . . 56 Table 8 Multilevel regression estimates of intermediary variables . . . . 59 Table 9 Overview of the hypotheses and their results . . . . . 63 List of figures Figure 1 Conceptual model of trust in the police . . . . . . 26 Figure 2 Theoretical factor structure of institutional trust . . . . . 38 Figure 3 Improved factor structure of institutional trust . . . . . 42 Figure 4 Mean levels of trust in the police in 20 countries . . . . . 52 List of appendices Appendix A Values of contextual variables for each country . . . . 81 Appendix B Developing indicators of proximity policing in Europe. . . . 82 i Introduction . . . . . . . 82 ii Methodology . . . . . . . 82 iii Remarks and problems . . . . . . 83 iv Unique countries . . . . . . . 84 Appendix C Macro determinants, Pearson correlations . . . . . 86 Appendix D Macro determinants on intermediary variables . . . . 87 Appendix E Robustness checks . . . . . . . 88
  4. 4. 3 Abstract Much research has been conducted on the subject of citizens’ attitudes towards the police. In present study, I aim to improve upon existing research in three ways: by discerning and incorporating three distinctly different theoretical perspectives on trust in the police, by including multiple European nations in a multilevel regression framework, and by testing for the measurement equivalence of citizens’ trust in the police. The three theoretical approaches I assess are the procedural justice perspective, emphasizing fair and respectful police treatment of citizens, the instrumental perspective, focusing on police effectiveness in both a narrow and broader sense, and the proximity policing perspective, concentrating on a broad range of neighbourhood issues, community involvement, and a preventive approach toward crime and disorder. I find that trust in the police is equivalently measured across European countries, but may not be comparable outside Europe. Furthermore, through analyses of both direct and indirect effects of country characteristics and individual determinants, I conclude that all three theoretical approaches have a role in determining trust in the police in Europe, but that support for the procedural justice perspective is most convincing. Country-level corruption and perceived procedural justice prove to be powerful determinants of trust. Shortcomings of the study are addressed, as well as some implications for researchers and policy makers.
  5. 5. 4 Acknowledgements Public attitudes towards the police have been the subject of many a study. Scholars from a broad range of disciplines have contributed to our understanding of citizens’ trust in the police: criminologists, sociologists, social psychologists, political scientists, philosophers, economists, many a former police officer or –manager, and more. Such a multidisciplinary field of study is bound to be interesting, but just as often confusing as well. Distilling a coherent theoretical and empirical framework out of so many different approaches towards roughly the same subject is no easy task. I am, therefore, very grateful that I did not have to do so alone. I am first of all indebted to my supervisors Peer Scheepers and Jan Terpstra. Peer Scheepers as my main supervisor made essential contributions in structuring my work, making it concise and keeping me on track whenever I started to digress in my writings. His methodological knowledge and advice proved to be of vital importance in the empirical parts of my thesis as well. Jan Terpstra was pivotal in shaping my interest in the subject of public-police relationships and helping me find my way in the enormous amount of literature and theoretical considerations involved in this study. Thanks to his support, a research paper written two years ago was able to grow into this thesis. I learnt much from my supervisors’ different perspectives, which often supplemented one another quite well. Many other people helped to shape this study in one way or another. I am grateful to my colleagues from the Criminological Institute who always made me feel at home: Caroline Liedenbaum, with whom I spent many a Wednesday discussing policing and the art of conducting research as well as our travels or the books we read; and Mirjam Krommendijk and Renze Salet, who were always interested in this thesis and were willing to listen as well as give sound advice. Much gratitude also goes to my classmates and friends of the research master Social & Cultural Science; in particular to Maarten, Mark, Anouk, Liedewij and Margriet, with whom I spent so much time last year that it is almost worrisome. They were always willing to listen, help, or share a beer or two. In the past four years, my student association AEGEE-Nijmegen had an important role in shaping my life as well as my interests. I am quite certain that the people I met at AEGEE and the places I travelled to were essential for my interest in Europe and cross-national comparisons, so cheers to all of them. I would also like to thank my parents Peter and Claire for their continuous support, and oma Lien for everything she gave me and all the time we shared. It saddens me that she will never get to read this. Finally, I wish to extend my thanks to Frédérique for her patience with me, her interest in my work, and her love.
  6. 6. 5 “A cooperative relationship between the police and the public is essential. Both citizens and police have responsibilities in this matter, but the police must take the initiative in building good public relations” (Gourley, 1954: 142) “There are many reasons not to trust the police. Indeed, withholding trust from police will often be perfectly sensible and rational” (Goldsmith, 2005: 450)
  7. 7. 6 1 Introduction 1.1 Trust and the police as representatives of the state In recent decades, democratic governments all over the Western world have been concerned about a loss of trust from the public and a decrease in perceived legitimacy. This seems to hold for parliament, government and other democratic institutions (Dalton, 2005; Newton & Norris, 1999; Chanley et al., 2000), the armed forces (Newton & Norris, 1999) and the police (Reiner, 2010; Tyler & Huo, 2002; Jackson et al., 2009; Myhill & Quinton, 2010). For some institutions, such as the judiciary, there is no clear evidence for a decrease in trust (Gibson, 2007), but the trend seems to be one of governmental institutions being trusted less and less. An exception is Eastern Europe, where trust has remained at a rather constant (low) level ever since the fall of communism (Mishler & Rose, 2001). This lack of confidence in governmental institutions is problematic, since democratic governments need to be trusted in order to function (Hetherington, 1998; O’Neill, 2002). The police are supposed to be among the primary victims of these falling trust rates. Terpstra and Van der Vijver (2006) state that the emergence of public safety as one of the pillars of societal debate during the early 1990’s caused citizens to nurse higher expectations of the police, but harbor less trust than before. In contemporary society, the police are expected to symbolize the difference between ‘good’ and ‘bad’, giving the police an important symbolic power for many citizens. This is closely related to the increased needs of citizens for protection against risks, danger and insecurity (Loader & Mulcahy, 2003: 43-44). However, police officers on the beat notice that they command ever less respect, making their work that much more difficult (Terpstra & Trommel, 2009; Terpstra & Schaap, 2011). When studying the relationship between citizens and their government, the standing of the police amongst the public is one of the most central issues, because the police are the most visible representation of the authority of the state. This makes the public’s trust in the police an important indicator of the legitimacy of governmental institutions in general (Fleming & McLaughlin, 2010). Thus, information about trust in the police may also offer us insight into the relationship between citizens and the state. 1.2 Trust and legitimacy Concepts like citizens’ trust in the police are highly complex and contradictory, making them ‘wicked issues’ (Fleming & McLaughlin, 2010). This also applies to related concepts like legitimacy, citizens’
  8. 8. 7 judgments, satisfaction, and perception that are highly dependent upon specific interpretations. The differences and relations between these various phrases remain too implicit, since they are often confused and used without any clarification (Hawdon, 2008). The most vital concepts in this respect are legitimacy and trust. Generally, legitimacy can be considered primarily a concept at an institutional level (Suchman, 1995), while trust relates to the level of individual agency: “the role is legitimate, the individual is trusted” (Hawdon, 2008: 186). When dealing with legitimacy, it is important to make a distinction between normative and social legitimacy (Terpstra, 2011). Normative police legitimacy consists of the rationality of law and other formal principles. As it mostly concentrates on the correctness of police authority in the written rule of law, normative legitimacy is neither expected to be strongly related to trust nor to other attitudes of citizens towards the police. Social legitimacy, on the other hand, provides a moral framework that explains and justifies the police to citizens. When people understand the authority of the police and accept that the police have the power to determine their behavior, even against their will, the police possess social legitimacy (Tyler, 2004: 84). Social legitimacy thus provides the public a basis for trust in police motives and a belief in the capacity of the police as an institution to protect citizens (Tyler, 2004). Trust, the central concept of this study, can be defined as the expectation that another person will behave in a beneficial way to the individual concerned and does not have harmful intentions. Although there are various kinds of trust (Luhmann, 1988), I will focus on cognitive (or reflexive) trust in the police (Goldsmith, 2005). Since trust, contrary to social legitimacy, concentrates on the individual level, it is more dependent on specific contexts. Generally, we may assume that trust and social legitimacy go together (Hawdon, 2008: 196). However, even if the police as an institution possess a high level of social legitimacy, citizens still may not trust individual representatives of the police in specific circumstances, just as high levels of social trust in a society do not imply that all its citizens trust one another. On the other hand, citizens’ trust in individual representatives of a public institution may contribute to its authority and thus its legitimacy (Hetherington, 1998). 1.3 The importance of trust and gaps in our knowledge For the police, it is essential to be trusted by the public. Trust in the police increases citizens’ compliance with the rule of law, is related to the willingness to cooperate with the police and report crime, improves the readiness of citizens to intervene in cases of minor problems of social disorder in their neighbourhood, and is an important pre-condition for overall police effectiveness (Sunshine & Tyler, 2003; Tyler, 2004; Jackson & Bradford, 2010; Goudriaan, Wittebrood & Nieuwbeerta, 2006; FitzGerald,
  9. 9. 8 2010). Skogan (2009) states, additionally, that trust in the police increases feelings of security. This implies that high rates of trust in the police are beneficial for the public as well as the police. Knowledge about factors affecting public confidence in the police could have important policy implications: if we know what influences trust, it is possible to address these factors through policy measures and thus improve public confidence. Since the police encounter similar problems in the field of trust and perceived legitimacy in many different countries, such knowledge could prove to be of international benefit. Much has been written about police legitimacy and citizen’s trust in this institution, but most studies have a limited scope concerning the theoretical approach, included geographical range and the matter of whether we can compare trust in the police across countries. This study aims to improve upon previous literature on all these three elements. First of all, previous studies often concentrated on a single theoretical approach (Stack, Cao & Adamzyck, 2007; Goldstein, 1987; Jackson & Sunshine, 2007), failing to include multiple perspectives and thus refraining from formulating rival hypotheses or accounting for possible confounding factors on both the individual and national level. In present study, I aim to analyze three scientific police perspectives. Secondly, the majority of prior research focuses on one country, while the aim of this work is to include as many countries as possible. As was noticed before (Goldsmith, 2005; Hough et al., 2010; Jang, Joo & Zao, 2010; Kääriäinen, 2007; Lambert et al., 2010), there is a lack of theory-based research on citizen’s trust in the police in different nations, despite considerable differences in the level of trust between European countries (Kääriäinen, 2007). Furthermore, earlier studies seldom addressed the fundamental question whether trust in the police is perceived in an equivalent fashion across countries. Do people understand trust in the police similarly in different countries? With rare exceptions, this issue has hardly ever been accounted for (Wallace & Latcheva, 2006; Mishler & Rose, 1997), even though it is an important prerequisite if we aim to conduct a meaningful comparison of police trust across countries. Present study aims to fill these serious gaps in our knowledge by providing an extended theoretical framework, using an internationally comparative perspective and controlling for the robustness in comparability of police trust across countries. An international approach allows us to take into account factors that can influence trust in the police on the national (macro) as well as the individual (micro) level, while an extended theoretical framework is required to provide for a complete overview of these national and individual factors.
  10. 10. 9 1.4 Research questions There are several problems I aim to address in this study, so I formulate multiple research questions. It is first of all necessary to test the often too implicit assumptions that there are large differences between countries in the extent to which their police is trusted. Thus, my first research question is: what are the differences between European nations in police trust in 2010? However, in order to interpret these differences in a meaningful way, we need to address the often neglected empirical matter of whether it is justified to compare trust in the police from one country to another. To what extent is trust in the police equivalent across different countries? This leads to the second research question: to what extent is trust in the police empirically comparable across nations? The third and final research question, then, aims to explain public trust in the police: which factors on the national and on the individual level explain these differences in police trust? When these questions are answered, we have information on what trust in the police entails, why the police are trusted or distrusted, and how trust can be improved.
  11. 11. 10 2 Theoretical framework and expectations 2.1 Introduction In this section, I will provide an overview aiming to cover the relevant theories and past empirical research on the subject of public trust in the police and other institutions. On the basis of this theoretical framework, I derive hypotheses on under which circumstances trust is higher and under which it is lower, and which factors on the individual and national level affect trust. The first research question asks what differences between countries are. My proposition is that levels of trust in the police, and thus differences in police trust, can be explained by various measurable factors. This leads us to the third research question: what factors can explain these differences? In this section, I will address four types of determinants that can affect trust in the police and thus explain differences between countries. Existing studies on trust in the police can roughly be divided into four global, non-mutually exclusive, branches of research: I label these the demographic-attitudinal, interactional, contextual and systematic police science branches1 . Each of these categories emphasize a specific set of determinants of trust. Two of these research fields, the demographic-attitudinal and the contextual categories, may offer explanations for most types of institutional trust, but I expect the two others to be predominantly police-specific. Literature on traditional determinants of trust is discussed for each of these approaches, after which I deal with shortcomings of these studies. Finally, I will argue that in order to fully comprehend the mechanisms behind trust in the police, a combination of these four categories will have to be taken into account. These different approaches together can provide a set of hypotheses answering the research questions. Public attitudes towards the police and other governmental institutions have been the subject of research ever since the 1950’s. Most early studies, generally originating from the United States and in later years Great Britain, emphasized the effects of certain individual characteristics on these attitudes. I discern two types of micro-level research: demographic-attitudinal research and interactional research. The first type includes demographic characteristics like age, gender and ethnicity, and certain individual values or attitudes such as overall life satisfaction or political orientation that may relate to trust in the 1 Although one may argue that all four of these branches concern police science, the latter of the four is unique in that it takes a much more systematic, even paradigmatic approach in attitudes towards the police. This systematic aspect is what I wish to emphasize through this label.
  12. 12. 11 police – and often of other institutions as well. In this type of research, only individual citizens are the subject of study and police characteristics or behaviour are not taken into account. The second type of classical studies adds a new and quite essential element to the analysis of trust in the police: police behaviour. In an early study, Gourley (1954) already stressed that “the police themselves are the most important factor in determining public attitudes” (Gourley, 1954: 135). In the Western world, the police hold a unique position among public institutions. Not only are they the most visible representatives of the state (Fleming & McLaughlin, 2010) and do they have a monopoly on the use of force in domestic issues with the exception of the rare cases in which the military are involved (Elias, 1982; Waddington, 1999a; 2003; Loader & Walker, 2001), the police also interact with the public on a daily basis. Police officers have regular contact with citizens and relatively large autonomy to make choices based on unique situations (Wilson, 1968; Manning, 1977). In this respect, the position of the police among governmental institutions is shared only with the social services. A police officer on the beat is a “street-level bureaucrat” (Lipsky, 1980). We might even rather refer to police officers as “street-corner politicians” (Muir, 1977), a phrase that further emphasizes the policeman’s autonomy. In his verbal interaction with citizens, the policeman’s influence on the public should, like that of a politician, not be underestimated: “Eloquence enriches his repertoire of potential responses to violence and permits him to touch the citizenry’s souls – their hopes, their fears, their needs to be something worthwhile, their consciences.” (Muir, 1977: 4). In these elegant words, Muir (1977) implied that individual police officers are capable of altering the public perception in both a positive and negative fashion, an idea that is reinforced by quantitative empirical research (Scaglion & Condon, 1980) – even though the impact of negative encounters between police and citizens appears to be larger than that of positive ones (Jacob, 1971; Skogan, 2006a). In this interactional branch of research, both individual police officers and citizens are the most important actors in determining the extent to which the police are trusted. This is an essential step towards understanding differences between countries in terms of trust in the police. These two research branches are not the main focus of present study, but I will argue in section 2.4 that they are relevant for understanding differences of trust in the police between countries. Besides, the interactional branch of research provides the foundation for the more advanced systematic police science branch. Present study will concentrate predominantly on deducting hypotheses from the contextual and systematic police science research branches, two fields of study that operate on the macro level as well as the individual level. Because they can be applied to the level of nations, they offer the most suitable explanations for differences between countries.
  13. 13. 12 2.2 The contextual research: macro-level approaches to trust in the police Although initial research in the field of public attitudes towards the police mostly focused on individual factors affecting trust, researchers soon became aware that the social context of individuals could also determine the extent to which the police would be trusted. The relationship between ethnicity and trust, for example, was in recent decades proven to be not nearly as strong as it had seemed to be in early research such as undertaken by Bayley & Mendelsohn (1969), Jacob (1971), Smith & Hawkins (1973) and Skogan (1978). The powerful initial results were soon considered to be primarily an artefact caused by differences in neighbourhood socialization (Dunham & Alpert, 1988) or other neighbourhood factors (Cao, Frank & Cullen, 1996; Kusow, Wilson & Martin, 1997). Apparently, the social context can play an important role in explaining the extent to which the police are trusted. This finding lead to different types of analysis, and different types of determinants: those on the macro-level. The first of these studies concentrated on the influence of various neighbourhood characteristics on trust – particularly trust in the police and law-enforcement (Skogan, 1978). This research was conducted on the level of neighbourhoods. Neighbourhood disorder (Cao et al., 1996) and perceived insecurity and crime in the neighbourhood (Reisig & Parks, 2000) were found to be relevant determinants. Through media exposure and other modes of communication, moreover, crime-related events in neighbourhoods could be argued to affect people’s attitudes in the entire nation. The late 1990’s saw a major new development in contextual research: the emergence of cross- national studies on the subject of citizen perceptions of the police (Cao et al., 1998), the judiciary (Gibson, Caldeira & Beird, 1998) and public institutions in general (Newton & Norris, 2000). In these studies, the context is that of entire countries. Country characteristics are expected to affect the population’s trust in public institutions. One of these characteristics is income inequality. Rothstein and Uslaner (2005) found that more (income) equality in a country tends to increase generalized trust, which they attribute to increased solidarity and the feeling that common values are shared throughout society. In a country with equal opportunities for every citizen to attain wealth and prestige, people are more likely to feel that the government represents these common values. Since the police are the most visible representation of the government, Jang, Joo & Zhao (2010) expected an effect of income inequality on trust in the police.
  14. 14. 13 A similar reasoning holds for the level of democracy in a country: in cases where and when all citizens feel they have equal shares of influence on their government, they are more likely to trust their institutions as these institutions are thought to represent the public interest (Jang et al., 2010; Cao & Zhao, 2005). The past may be relevant in this respect: when a democracy is still young and memory of a former authoritarian, non-democratic regime is fresh in people’s minds, governmental institutions will be trusted less (Caparini & Marenin, 2005: 5). This could prove to be particularly important in Eastern European former communist nations, where the police, even more than other institutions, were considered a tool of the communist one-party system (Caparini & Marenin, 2005). In these countries, police reforms still encounter many difficulties, and the public is likely to be less trusting towards the police (Rose-Ackerman, 2001). This leads to the following expectations for present study: Hypothesis 1a: In countries with higher levels of income inequality, citizens have less trust in the police. Hypothesis 1b: The more recent a country has had a non-democratic regime, the lower citizens’ trust in the police is. 2.3 Police science perspectives: three systematic approaches to police-public relationships The central assumption of explaining trust in the police through the systematic police science branch is rooted in interactional research, which indicated that police behaviour has an influence on trust (Gourley, 1954; Scaglion & Condon, 1980). This interaction between the police and the public is not merely an individual matter, dependent on choices of isolated street-corner politicians on the basis of personal ethics or orders from superiors. It is also affected by broader mechanisms, both intentional and unintentional. First of all, specific elements of police culture may shape police attitudes towards citizens (Reiner, 2010; Muir, 1977). Despite the fact that police culture is not the same across countries or individuals (Terpstra & Schaap, 2011), may change over time (Foster, 2003), and that the difference between talk and action in police culture may generally not be appreciated sufficiently (Waddington, 1999b), there are some cultural characteristics that are present in most police forces (Reiner, 2010: 137- 138). Among other characteristics, police officers are thought to be cynical and distrusting towards the public, show strong internal solidarity and are susceptible to machismo and racism (Reiner, 2010). All of these elements, when displayed in contacts between police and public, may lead to public distrust in the police. However, there are also specific means for police officers and organizations to make the public view them in a more positive way. Since the very start of police-public relation studies,
  15. 15. 14 recommendations were made to change policies in certain (problematic) neighbourhoods, and to alter police priorities (Gourley, 1954; Biderman et al., 1967). This is important, because due to various causes, trust in the police and government declined all over Western Europe during the 1980’s (Reiner, 2010). Rising crime rates, various violent conflicts between protest- or minority groups and the police, and increasing egalitarianism in Western societies are thought to be causes of less trust in and respect for the police (Terpstra & Trommel, 2009; Reiner, 2010). Regaining the public’s trust became an important policy goal from the 1990’s onwards (Terpstra & Trommel, 2009). This makes systematic study of the relationship between the police and citizens highly essential. Three quite different scientific perspectives on policing that can be applied to the problem of trust in the police have been the subject of research in the past decades: the instrumental perspective, the proximity policing perspective and the procedural justice perspective. Each of these perspectives offers a different view on which factors affect citizens’ trust in the police, and although their implications sometimes overlap, they are quite distinct. 2.3.1 The procedural justice perspective The first perspective on public attitudes towards the police is the procedural justice approach. This perspective is historically mostly linked to police and court (social) legitimacy rather than trust. Tyler (2004) treats trust (or confidence) as one of three core sections that make up legitimacy, while Reisig, Bratton & Gertz (2007) consider trust to be the strongest element of legitimacy. Hence, it is likely that the procedural justice approach can be applied to trust as well as legitimacy. Procedural justice theory deals predominantly with the direct interaction between police officers and citizens. Tyler (1988; 1990) united the interactional research tradition on public trust in the police such as conducted by Gourley (1954) and Jacob (1971) with social-psychological studies of the legitimacy of law and courts (Thibaut & Walker, 1975; Lind, 1982) in one theory of procedural justice for law enforcement. According to the procedural justice paradigm applied to the police, citizens judge the police predominantly by their fair and respectful treatment of citizens. A fair procedure in police-citizen contact entails, in the words of Tyler (1988), various elements: opportunity of representation for the citizen to make his case, and consistency, impartiality, quality of decision, correctability and ethicality on the side of the police officer. When the police show respect, let citizens explain their views on situations, and show their commitment to making informed decisions, citizens will comply more often (McCluskey, 2003: 91), will have more confidence in the police (Jackson & Sunshine, 2007), and will hold more favourable attitudes towards the police in general (Frank, Smith & Novak, 2005). Police violence, on the
  16. 16. 15 other hand, generally being rather the opposite of fair treatment, will have the exact reverse effect (Sunshine & Tyler, 2003). Sunshine and Tyler (2003) found that elements of perceived police procedural justice have a larger influence on public attitudes towards the police than concerns about crime rates. Naumann and Bennett (2000) argued – although not in a police context – that procedural justice has larger effects than merely between the authority and the direct subject of procedural justice: the application of procedural justice has the ability to spread across groups, creating a climate of procedural justice. Thus, we may expect that the behaviour of individual police officers has an indirect impact on both fellow police officers and other citizens than the ones they encounter. This need not necessarily be a positive effect: police officers use more force in disadvantaged neighbourhoods (Terrill & Reisig, 2003), possibly leading to a climate of legal cynicism among citizens of those neighbourhoods since they do not perceive the police to act according to the procedural justice principles (Sampson & Bartusch, 1998; Sharp & Atherton, 2007). Hence, while a climate of procedural justice appears to enhance police legitimacy and citizens’ trust in the police, the contrary holds as well: a climate of unfair treatment and the very absence of procedural justice could ensue if police officers or other civil servants are corrupt or violent. Corruption may be a vital aspect here. A corrupt police force is unable to treat its citizens fairly and equally (Tankebe, 2010; Tyler, 1990), while societal corruption in general implies poor overall institutional procedural justice (Anderson & Tverdova, 2003). Since police organizations all over the world are among the most vulnerable to pervasive forms of corruption of all public institutions, corruption in the police force and broader societal corruption are closely entwined (Punch, 2000; 2009). Societal corruption is thus not only widely considered to be morally wrong, but is also extremely harmful to the legitimacy of a nation’s government (Wolters & De Graaf, 2005: 216). Social legitimacy and trust are such closely related concepts that it comes as no surprise that Anderson and Tverdova (2003) found corruption on a national level to decrease trust in civil servants generally. Jang, Joo & Zhao (2010) and Kääriäinen (2007) more specifically expected a relationship between corruption on the (societal) macro-level and trust in the police. Tankebe (2010), in the specific context of Ghana, as well as Weitzer and Tuch (2005) in the USA, also found an effect of perceived police corruption on trust in the police. Summarizing, there are plenty of reasons to expect a negative effect of societal corruption, as an indicator of an anti-procedural justice climate in a country, on trust in the police. However, we must not forget that procedural justice is before all else an individual matter. Citizens’ trust in the police is, according to the procedural justice perspective, mainly dependent on their
  17. 17. 16 individual perception of police procedural justice. But this individual perception is affected by macro- level mechanisms. When corruption in society or among the police is less present, citizens perceive the police as acting according to the principles of procedural justice to a greater extent (Anderson & Tverdova, 2003; Tankebe, 2010; Tyler, 1990). We are, then, quite likely to find differences between countries in the extent to which police officers are perceived to act according to the principles of procedural justice since police organizations operate differently in each country and the pervasiveness of corruption also varies over nations. Subsequently, this leads to differences between countries in the extent to which citizens perceive the police to apply procedural justice principles, explaining differences between nations in levels of public trust in the police. From the framework above, we can distil three hypotheses: Hypothesis 2a: In countries with higher levels of corruption, citizens have less trust in the police. Hypothesis 2b: Citizens who perceive the police to act according to the principles of procedural justice to a larger degree have more trust in the police. Hypothesis 2c: In countries with higher levels of corruption, citizens perceive the police to act according to the principles of procedural justice to a lesser extent. 2.3.2 The instrumental perspective The instrumental perspective differs from the other two in that it has seen more or less systematic testing on the level of neighbourhoods (Reisig & Parks, 2000; Jackson et al., 2009) and, more important for present study, in an international setting (Jang, Joo & Zhao, 2010; Kääriäinen, 2007). In this section, I take the liberty of discerning two somewhat different interpretations of the instrumental perspective; a narrow interpretation as employed for example in the analyses of Jang, Joo and Zhao (2010), Reisig and Parks (2000) and Weitzer & Tuch (2005), and a broader interpretation that is used by Sunshine and Tyler (2003: 514), Goldsmith (2005), Bradford and Jackson (2010) and Tankebe (2008; 2010), among others. The basic assumption of the instrumental perspective, highly influenced by the New Public Management and its emphasis on measurable output (Terpstra & Trommel, 2009), is that the public judges the police by their performance in several measurable areas. In the instrumental perspective, the police should before all else be effective to be judged by citizens in a positive fashion (Kääriäinen, 2008). Let us first take a look into how the narrow interpretation of the instrumental perspective deals with this assumption. According to this view, the public judgement is dependent most specifically on police performance in the key area of crime control (Jang, Joo & Zhao, 2010). Although the police in most countries have much broader tasks than reducing crime, such as preventing forms of disorder and
  18. 18. 17 helping those in need2 , the narrow interpretation assumes that the public holds the police primarily responsible for adequately dealing with crime, and most of all with violent crime (Jang, Joo & Zhao, 2010; Weitzer & Tuch, 2005: 281). This holds regardless of the fact that the police on their own have very limited possibilities to decrease crime (Garland, 1996; Ashford & Gibbs, 1990). One could reason that (violent) crime is so central to citizens’ evaluations of the police because it is measurable, and because it attracts the continuous interest of the media and the public (Terpstra & Van der Vijver, 2006; Reiner, 2010) more than any other policing activity. In this view, the public may thus have more trust in the police when crime rates are lower. Previous research has used various empirical indicators for crime rates. Crime statistics all have serious disadvantages even within a single nation (Maguire, 2007), and are notoriously difficult to compare internationally, partly due to differences in criminal law but especially because of differences in quality of victimization surveys and police registration (Neapolitan, 1999). The most reliable and valid indicator of crime occurrence is generally considered to be the homicide rate in a country, because of the seriousness of this crime: it is the most likely type of crime to be registered systematically (Neapolitan, 1999) and is hence internationally relatively easy to compare. It is also a very serious type of crime and hence most likely to affect citizens’ emotions and judgements concerning the police, as indicated by Stoutland (2001). Following the studies of Jang, Joo and Zhao (2010) and Reisig and Parks (2000), it is most straightforward to expect the public to have less trust in the police once homicide rates in a country are higher. Compared to this narrow interpretation of the instrumental perspective, the broader interpretation is not as stringent concerning the type of police performance that is expected to affect public attitudes towards the police. In this broader view, citizens judge the police by their overall effectiveness and efficiency which may include, but is definitely not limited to, violent crime rates. Examples of elements that are also included in this broader view are the extent to which the police respond quickly to emergency calls and their successfulness in addressing anti-social behaviour (Bradford & Jackson, 2010), their investigation of criminal acts and prosecution of criminals (Goldsmith, 2005) and their effectiveness in helping those who ask for it (Sunshine & Tyler, 2003). In this broad interpretation, police effectiveness often depends on how citizens themselves define it rather than on fixed standards. So other than using crime statistics, police scientists who follow this broader interpretation often rely on citizens’ perceptions of overall police effectiveness to determine the 2 See for extended overviews of police practice in various countries for example Newburn (2008) and Liedenbaum (2011).
  19. 19. 18 influence of police effectiveness on attitudes towards the police. In this study, it is possible to test indicators of both the narrower and the broader interpretation. Hence, my expectation based on the narrower interpretation of the instrumental perspective is that citizens have less trust in the police in countries with higher homicide rates, whereas my hypothesis based on the broader interpretation of this perspective is that citizens who perceive the police to be more effective have more trust in the police. Next to these two hypothesized relationships, it is also relevant to study the relationship between the determinants linked to the narrow and the broader interpretation. To what extent do homicide rates affect citizens’ perceptions of police effectiveness? I expect the two to be negatively related. This implies that I expect the narrow interpretation of the instrumental perspective to partially overlap with the broader interpretation: crime rates in a country are hypothesized to decrease perceptions of police effectiveness. Finally, previous research also found that corruption is a factor that decreases institutional effectiveness and the public perception thereof. When corruption is rampant, civil servants are more interested in serving their own benefit than that of the public (Wolters & De Graaf, 2005: 216), leading to a decrease in institutional effectiveness (Rose-Ackerman, 1997; 1999). This holds for the police (Tankebe, 2010) as well as for most other institutions (Rose-Ackerman, 1999; Rothstein, 2000). I expect that corruption on the national level will thus decrease public perceptions of police effectiveness. Obviously, this is where the procedural justice perspective and the broader interpretation of the instrumental perspective overlap to some degree; illustrating that the perspectives are not mutually exclusive. I summarize the above in four hypotheses: Hypothesis 3a: In countries with higher homicide rates, citizens have less trust in the police. Hypothesis 3b: Citizens who perceive the police to be more effective have more trust in the police. Hypothesis 3c: In countries with higher homicide rates, citizens perceive the police to be less effective. Hypothesis 3d: In countries with higher levels of corruption, citizens perceive the police to be less effective. 2.3.3 The proximity policing perspective The proximity policing perspective is a police science approach that has had a major influence on the way police forces across the globe operate. Several models of police practice can be argued to fit under the umbrella of proximity policing (Tilley, 2003), of which the most well-known model is community- oriented policing (COP). The two concepts – proximity policing and community-oriented policing – could
  20. 20. 19 be argued to be one and the same thing (Holmberg, 2002), but I make a certain distinction. I use the phrase “proximity policing” when referring to the police science perspective, whereas I consider “community policing” to be a police practice paradigm; the application of proximity policing as interpreted by police organizations in large parts of the Western world but especially in the US and UK. It is hard to define proximity policing, since one of the most central implications of this perspective is that the police need to adapt to local communities and contexts (Holmberg, 2002). Still, all interpretations of the proximity policing perspective share some basic premises: that in order to improve the relationship between the police and the public, the police should decrease their distance to citizens by being approachable and visible, focus on addressing a broad range of (social) neighbourhood problems such as disorder and feelings of insecurity, and be proactive in the battle against crime and disorder by involving the community and exchanging information with the public (Skogan & Hartnett, 1997; Goldstein, 1987; Trojanowicz & Bucqueroux, 1990; Terpstra, 2010). The goal of the police is not merely to enforce the law in a literal, means-over-ends way, as in traditional approaches to “professional” policing (Goldstein, 1979; Stone & Travis, 2011), but to include the human factor in policing and in its more idealistic interpretation to help create a better society (Alderson, 1979). In order to achieve this goal, citizen involvement and participation in neighbourhood security are vital elements of proximity policing. This decreased distance between the police and citizens is expected to improve citizens’ views of the police (Tilley, 2003). There are several issues with the proximity policing school of thought. The first problem is that it proves difficult to implement successfully in practice. Part of the value of proximity policing-related ideas appears to lie on the rhetorical level, even causing Klockars (1988) to imply that the concept is hardly more than a rhetorical tool. Additionally, there is often a large divide between “management cops” (Reuss-Ianni, 1983) on the one hand, who might wish to apply the ideas provided by proximity policing, and the extent to which they are then actually implemented by “street cops”, who are often deemed conservative and resistant to change (Reiner, 2010). This daily, street-level application of these ideas in the form of community policing is often something of a black box (Terpstra, 2010). Not only from the side of the police can the application of proximity policing ideas suffer setbacks: citizens themselves are often unwilling to get – and remain – involved in community partnerships (Grinc, 1994). A second problem, briefly addressed above, is in its vague definition or perhaps even the absence of any definition at all (Stone & Travis, 2011; Seagrave, 1996; Skogan & Hartnett, 1997: 5). This has lead to the blossoming of many different interpretations and elaborations of the ideas offered by the proximity policing perspective next to community-oriented policing, such as intelligence-based
  21. 21. 20 policing (Maguire, 2000), problem-oriented policing (Goldstein, 1979; Braga et al., 1999), and reassurance policing (Innes, 2004; Petersen, 2010). If interpreted narrowly by police management or governments, the application of some measures inspired by proximity policing may even rub the wrong way, resulting in “aggressive enforcement of minor ordinances, [...] enhanced traffic enforcement, and any police action that instils public confidence” (Bayley, 1994: 104), thus causing the very opposite of what proximity policing aims to achieve. Despite these problems, however, there is evidence that the application of proximity policing principles can have a positive effect on neighbourhoods (Skogan, 2006b; Skogan & Hartnett, 1997), indicating that Klockars’ (1988) view may be too negative. Unfortunately, systematic international comparisons on the subject of proximity policing are thus far rather few in number. Policing modes inspired by proximity policing have become leading police paradigms in most Western countries over the recent decades, at the very least on a rhetorical level (Terpstra, 2010; Bayley & Shearing, 1996; Stone & Travis, 2011). Still, there are differences between nations in the extent to which they have actually managed to realize the principles of proximity policing in the street-level police practice. This could partially be due to the aforementioned difficulties in implementing them: there are differences between nations in the extent to which citizens are willing to cooperate with the police (Mawby, 1992), differences in relations between police management and community officers (Liedenbaum, 2011: 322-323), and different types of proximity policing-inspired methods are applied in different countries. Besides, there are differences in terminology. In Norway, for example, the local Lensmann or sheriff has been responsible for many of the main tasks associated with proximity policing (closeness to citizens, cooperation with local agencies, and focusing on a wide range of issues) for centuries, but these tasks are not labelled as community policing or a related police practice paradigm and are thus not accepted as such (Larsson, 2010). This means that, if we wish to study the effects of the proximity policing practice on trust in the police, it is important to concentrate on the implementation of specific elements that proximity policing proposes regardless of the way these elements have been labelled. These differences between countries in the adoption and implementation of proximity policing ideas and principles allow us to study the relationship between COP and trust in the police on the national level. I expect countries in which community-oriented measures have been implemented to a greater extent to maintain higher levels of trust in the police. We must not forget, however, that proximity policing is all about the proximity and hence interaction between police and citizens. It would thus not be feasible to study proximity policing only on
  22. 22. 21 the macro-level; but we need to take into account citizens’ perceptions of proximity policing. One of the elements that make up proximity policing is the prevention of crime. Preventive police work is, in the proximity policing perspective, preferred over the reactive “rapid response” methods that were dominant in the earlier “reform” or “professional” type of policing (Stone & Travis, 2011). Although prevention is only one out of several aspects of proximity policing, and proximity policing is not the only perspective in which prevention is important, there is a distinct overlap between the two. Greene (2000: 311) considers a focus on prevention to be the most important aspect of proximity policing, whereas most authors appear at least to acknowledge it as one of several main indicators (Rohe et al., 1996; Skolnick & Bayley, 1988; Maguire & Mastrofski, 2000). While not the ideal test of proximity policing on the individual level, citizens’ perceptions of police crime prevention successfulness can hence provide an indication of their perception of proximity policing as a whole3 . When the public has a more positive perception of police crime prevention successfulness, the police is perceived to be better equipped to prevent various types of crime. Citizens are then likely to be more trusting towards the police, since they protect their interests, even before those interests can be harmed. I thus expect citizens who have more positive perceptions of police crime prevention successfulness to have more trust in the police. Additionally, if my presumption that proximity policing and a focus on prevention are related is correct, it is also reasonable to expect a relationship between the implementation of proximity policing and citizens’ perceptions of police crime prevention successfulness. This way, we may not only expect a direct effect of proximity policing on the level of nations on public trust in the police, but it is also possible to hypothesize an indirect effect of proximity policing through perceived police prevention abilities. The resulting hypotheses are as follows: 4a: In countries in which the police force has adopted and implemented the principles of proximity policing to a larger degree, citizens have more trust in the police. 4b: Citizens who perceive the police to be more capable of preventing crime have more trust in the police. 4c: In countries in which the police force has adopted and implemented the principles of proximity policing to a larger degree, citizens perceive the police to be more capable of preventing crime. 2.4 Control variables based on the demographic-attitudinal research branch 3 I acknowledge that the interpretation of proximity policing on the individual level as police prevention successfulness is far from ideal and theoretically quite problematic. However, under this rare circumstance, empirical limitations have steered my choice to accept police prevention as a partial coverage of proximity policing. Results will have to be interpreted with care.
  23. 23. 22 As mentioned in previous sections, early studies on trust in the police mostly focused on the effect of individual background characteristics on trust in the police. Central in these factors was most often the citizen (the demographic-attitudinal branch), although the police officer was sometimes also included in the study (the interactional branch). The determinants these types of research offer can still be relevant for cross-national and research, even though they are on the micro level. That is because they can be aggregated to the macro level. The theoretically limited demographic approach usually included individual characteristics such as gender, age and education: males, the elderly and the lower educated were generally found to have more trust in the police force (Gourley, 1954; Preiss & Ehrlich, 1958). On the whole, these early results have mostly been confirmed by later research (Correia, Reisig & Lovrich, 1996), and income was also added to this basic list of determinants: those with higher incomes were found to have less trust (Cao & Zhao, 2005). A substantial body of research has been dedicated to the relationship between ethnic minorities and the police (Bayley & Mendelsohn, 1969; Jacob, 1971; Smith & Hawkins, 1973) and judiciary (Jacob, 1971). In the turbulence of ethnic conflict in the United States during the 1960’s and early 1970’s, the study of ethnic minorities attitudes towards law enforcement grew highly relevant (Albrecht & Green, 1977). Blacks held much more negative views of the police than whites, while Hispanics were somewhere in between the two groups (Gourley, 1954; Jacob, 1971; Skogan, 1978). As stated before, however, this relation was later criticized (Dunham & Alpert, 1988; Cao, Frank & Cullen, 1996; Kusow, Wilson & Martin, 1997). In later studies, religiosity was also found to be related to trust: frequent church attendants had more trust in the police (Cao, Stack & Sun, 1998; Jang, Joo & Zhao, 2010). Most of these demographic factors play a role in police trust as well as trust in other institutions (Newton & Norris, 2000). Another early focus of study was the relationship between victimization of crime and trust in and satisfaction about the police. Crime victims, especially those who were victimized recently, were generally found to have less trust in police and the courts, since law enforcement had failed to protect them in the past (Smith & Hawkins, 1974; Homant, Kennedy & Fleming, 1984; Koenig, 1980). The effect of victimization on trust, however, tended to be much weaker or even non-existent once citizens’ (neighbourhood) context was taken into account (Garofalo & Hindelang, 1977; Thomas & Hyman, 1977). Nevertheless, victimization may be a factor determining citizens’ trust in the police. Later on, this type of research was supplemented by various other individual factors, based on attitudes rather than demographics. This was based on insights from a broad range of psychological
  24. 24. 23 studies concerning cognitive consistency theories, such as Festinger’s (1957) cognitive dissonance theory, stating that attitudes tend to cluster together in sets (Albrecht & Green, 1977). Not only does this imply that trust in the police is related to trust in other public institutions, but also that certain other types of attitudes and opinions may be related to trust in the police. Skogan (1978) stressed an effect of one’s satisfaction with life in general on trust. Political conservatism (a right-wing orientation) was found to be positively related to trust in the police (Cao, Stack & Sun, 1998; Jang, Joo & Zhao, 2010). Additionally, various scholars hypothesized that feelings of unsafety and fear of crime cause a decrease in trust in the police (Biderman et al., 1967; Reisig & Parks, 2000; Kääriäinen, 2007; Jackson et al., 2009). Skogan (2009), however, concluded through a longitudinal study that causality in this matter is reversed and that it is a loss of confidence in the police that precedes feelings of unsafety. A final factor that may well affect trust in the police is (general) social trust. However, there is no consensus over the causality: does a general inclination to trust other people also affect institutional trust, and thus trust in the police, or is it the other way around? Newton and Norris (2000) provide two opposing theories on the matter. The first is that institutions act as a precedent and example for citizens (Newton & Norris, 2000: 7), causing Rothstein and Stolle (2002; 2008) to expect that institutional trust precedes general social trust: when institutions cannot gain the people’s trust, citizens will also distrust one another. The second approach is that trust is basically a personality trait developed in one’s early childhood (Newton & Norris, 2000: 5), and that people who are generally more trusting also tend to trust institutions to a higher degree. Allum et al. (2010), in an international study, find more support for the second approach than for the first, making social trust a possible relevant control variable. These micro-level demographic and attitudinal determinants can affect trust on the macro-level. Once a nation’s people have attained a higher average education, we can expect their attitudes to be more critical towards the police, and trust in the police will decrease. Similar processes may hold for other changes in the demographics in a country, but also for developments in values and attitudes of citizens in a country (Inglehart, 1999). If a country’s population is less conservative, for example, the level of trust in public institutions will be lower. Therefore, it is important to take into account these individual factors when we test for determinants on the macro level. In the previous sections, I addressed several ways in which police science perspectives presume that trust in the police is shaped and affected. These perspectives concentrated on institutional characteristics of the police force, and acted on the macro level as well as the micro level. Especially the latter is rooted in the interactional branch of research. One control determinant that is part of this interactional branch will be taken into account. In assessing factors influencing trust in the police,
  25. 25. 24 urbanization was found to have an effect (Zamble & Annesley, 1987; Cao & Zhao, 2005). People living in smaller communities generally have more trust in their governmental institutions due to increased personal contact between police officers and the public (Albrecht & Green, 1977), leading to more familiarity and thus trust between the two. Although this cannot be directly linked to either of the three police science perspectives, urbanization may be an relevant control variable. Summarizing, in my analysis I will control for various individual determinants: gender, age, education, income, minority membership, victimization, religiosity, life satisfaction, political orientation on a right-left scale, generalized social trust and urbanization. 2.5 Differential effects of macro-level determinants In section 2.2, I hypothesized that income inequality in a country affects trust in the police. In section 2.3.1, I did the same for the prevalence of corruption. It should be noted, though, that Jang, Joo and Zhao (2010) did not find significant effects of either income inequality or corruption in their international comparative study. Is this because income inequality and corruption do not play a role in determining trust in the police? Perhaps there are differences between citizens in the effects of these macro-level determinants. There could be a difference between those with high and those with low incomes, leading to contrary effects of macro-level determinants on trust that cancel each other out if one only takes into account the net effect. It can be argued that high income inequality and rampant corruption are especially harmful to the poor, while the rich may actually profit from this unequal division of political and economic resources. The wealthiest will have larger income shares when income inequality is greater, and they are more capable of buying their way to power and influence in corrupt nations. Officials in these countries are more sensitive to bribery: one’s income determines one’s political power. According to revisionist or critically influenced views on law enforcement, the police (Reiner, 2010: 47-55; Greenberg, Kessler & Loftin, 1985) and the entire criminal justice system (Chambliss & Seidman, 1982: 72-73) are thought to protect the “haves” more than the “have-nots”. Thus, increasing divisions of power due to income inequality and corruption will induce more trust in the police in those with the highest incomes, because the police will be more likely to protect their interests. Those with lower incomes have less trust, due to the fact they consider the police a tool of the rich and powerful. This leads to the following expectations: Hypothesis 5a: In countries with high income inequality, the difference between those with higher income as compared to those with lower income in terms of trust in the police, will be larger.
  26. 26. 25 Hypothesis 5b: In countries with high levels of corruption, the difference between those with higher income as compared to those with lower income in terms of trust in the police, will be larger. 2.6 Theoretical model of trust in the police In figure 1, the entire conceptual model as discussed above is summarized. First of all, determinants based on the three police science perspectives are expected to affect trust in the police. The first perspective is that of procedural justice. On the macro-level, I consider corruption to be an indicator of procedural justice, affecting trust (2a). On the individual level I expect perceptions of police procedural justice to induce more trust in the police (2b). I also expect corruption to influence citizens’ perceptions of procedural justice (2c). The second is instrumental perspective, which also has several hypotheses: I expect homicide, measured on the macro-level, to decrease trust (3a). I also expect the micro-level determinant of perceived police effectiveness to affect trust in the police (3b). Moreover, homicide (3c) as well as corruption (3d) are expected to influence the public perception of police effectiveness. Proximity policing, directly operationalized on the macro level, is also expected to affect trust (4a). On the micro level, I hypothesize perceived police prevention successfulness to influence trust in the police (4b). Furthermore, I expect a relationship between proximity policing on the macro level and individual perceptions of police prevention successfulness. This makes perceived procedural justice, perceived police effectiveness and perceived police prevention successfulness intermediary variables. Unconnected to the three police science perspectives, I include two other contextual factors: income inequality (1a) and democratic history (1b). However, for income inequality (5a), as well as for the level of corruption in a country (5b), I expect differential effects depending on one’s income. Finally, I also include a range of micro-level control variables.
  27. 27. 26 Figure 1: Conceptual model of trust in the police 2.7 Cross-country equivalence of trust in the police In the previous sections, I have drawn a theoretical framework attempting to determine the most important factors in explaining trust in the police across countries. This framework can be tested through empirical research, but there is one important precondition: we must ascertain that a comparison of trust in the police across countries is valid and equivalent. The measurement of “trust in the police” must be equivalent in different countries. Why is this a fundamental question? We must remember that large amounts of police research in the past concentrated on only one country. Internationally comparative studies in police science were often of a predominantly qualitative nature. These studies proved convincingly that there are large differences in the way police forces in various countries function due to differences in history, structure and culture of the police (for example Mawby, 2003; Liedenbaum, 2011; Cassan, 2010; Bayley, 1979; 1985). This implies that “the police” may not be equivalently understood by people in different nations.
  28. 28. 27 Moreover, the concept of “trust”, being notoriously complex, could also be interpreted in a different way across languages and cultures. Previous quantitative international comparative studies on trust in the police consistently ignored this empirically testable question, even when including culturally extremely diverse countries. Examples are the comparison between the United States and China (Cao & Hou, 2001), Japan (Cao, Stack & Sun, 1998) or Latin America (Cao & Zhao, 2005), between various Eastern and Western European nations (Kääriäinen, 2007) or even a wide range of countries all over the globe (Jang, Joo & Zhao, 2010). A rare exception to the rule is the study of Jackson et al. (2011), which found non-equivalence between England and Bulgaria for certain aspects of public attitudes towards the police. This indicates that it is relevant to test for cross-country equivalence of trust in the police if we wish to conduct a valid comparison. Tests for equivalence must be applied to a set of several observed indicators intending to measure one or more theoretical constructs: multiple manifest indicators are required (Vandenberg & Lance, 2000: 10). If we aim to test whether trust in the police is equivalent, we need to compare its relationship with a set of closely related variables across different countries. The most logical choice for such a set of variables are other types of institutional trust. Past research often included trust in the police as an indicator for institutional trust, along with trust in the legal system, parliament, politicians and more (Mishler & Rose, 1997; Wallace & Latcheva, 2006; Newton & Norris, 2000). The cross-country equivalence of institutional trust, however, has seldom been tested before in an adequate fashion. Present study aims to fill that gap, focusing on the relationship between trust in the police and trust in different institutions. When this relationship proves to be similar across countries, evidence for equivalence is provided. Only when this has been achieved is an international comparison of trust in the police justified.
  29. 29. 28 3 Data and measurements 3.1 Main data source and dependent variable In this section, I will describe the data I use to answer my research questions. Consecutively, I will address the nature of the data I use, the operationalization of the dependent variable, of country-level determinants, and of determinants on the individual level. The main data source for my analysis is the fifth round of the European Social Survey (ESS), conducted in 2010. The ESS is a well-known international large-scale quantitative survey that has been repeated every two years since 2002, generally including between 20 and 30 European countries. Of the 2010 wave, data on 20 European countries became available in October 20114 with data on eight other countries to be released in 20125 . In each country, methodology is documented in a detailed fashion, and much effort has been put in ensuring sample representativeness of the population. Selection of respondents, age 15 and older, was conducted through random probability sampling methods and all respondents were interviewed face-to-face (European Social Survey, 2011). Slightly different sampling methods were used across countries. Interviews were either conducted with the help of computers or paper and pencil. Response rates were generally reasonably high at around 60%, but there were some exceptions6 (European Social Survey, 2011). Despite these exceptions, the result is still a high-quality data set well suited for international comparisons. This most recent wave of the survey is particularly fit for present study due to the inclusion of a special module related to attitudes towards the police, justice and safety (Jackson et al., 2011). Initially, 38,974 respondents were included in the data set, of which 33,239 remained after removing respondents with missing data on key variables, part of the German population, and respondents from Northern Ireland7 . 4 These are, in alphabetical order: Belgium, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. 5 These are Austria, Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Ireland, Lithuania, Slovakia and Ukraine. 6 Most noteworthy is the low response rate in Germany: only 30.5%. This was mostly due to refusal to participate and to an inability of the interviewer to contact the respondent, even after four visits. 7 In Germany, policing is determined not on the national level but on that of Bundesländer, causing large differences between regions in the organization and working styles of the police (Liedenbaum, 2011). It would thus be invalid to include people from each region in the analysis, when I only have contextual data on policing for one region. Besides, differences between former communist East-Germany and democratic West-Germany pose problems when analyzing the duration of democracy. As a result, I only take into account citizens from Nordrhein- Westfalen, treating it as a country. A similar issue is at stake in the United Kingdom, where the police forces and history of Northern Ireland differ substantially from that of Great Britain (Mawby, 2003). I decided to remove the respondents from Northern Ireland from further analysis.
  30. 30. 29 The dependent variable trust in the police is present in this data set. It is operationalized on a 11-point scale, where 0 means no trust at all, and 10 implies that the respondent is extremely trusting towards the police. The variable is approximately normally distributed, although there are some differences between countries in the distribution curves. For 1,4% of all respondents, no information was available on trust in the police. I removed these respondents from further analysis. Other types of institutional trust, necessary to conduct equivalence tests, are trust in the legal system, trust in parliament, trust in politicians, and trust in political parties. All of these are measured the same way as trust in the police. These latter four variables will not be included in any analysis except for the purpose of equivalence testing. 3.2 Contextual determinants and additional data sources In order to be able to operationalize several macro-level determinants, I use other data sources to supplement the European Social Survey data. Values for each of these contextual determinants in every country are attached in appendix A. The level of income inequality in a country is assessed by the United Nations University World Institute for Development Economics Research (UNU-WIDER, 2011a). This data source, the World Income Inequality Database, provides gini-coefficients from 0 to 100 to indicate income inequality, in which a high coefficient implies a high degree of inequality. These coefficients are based on both income and consumption, while the household is generally the unit of analysis (UNU- WIDER, 2011b). Multiple approaches might be used to measure the democratic history of a country; but the most straightforward is to detract the year that democracy was constituted from the year of study (Gesthuizen, Van der Meer & Scheepers, 2008), so that a low number means that demographic history is short, while a larger number implies a longer history of democracy in a country. I simplify this distinction, discerning a scale of five categories of democratic history. First, the countries that have had democratic regimes from the early 20th century onwards. This includes most Western European nations such as the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Denmark. The second category consists of countries that became fully democratic shortly after the second World War including Israel and (West-)Germany – the latter having suffered twelve years of national-socialist rule after the admittedly democratic interbellum Weimar republic. Then there are the Southern European countries of Portugal and Spain which had military dictatorships until the 1970’s. The fourth category can be found behind the former Iron Curtain: the Warsaw-pact nations of Eastern Europe that made their acquaintance with democracy in the early
  31. 31. 30 1990’s as well as the former Yugoslavic republic of Slovenia. The fifth and final category is for countries that cannot (yet) be considered democratic, including only one nation in my sample: Russia. The Economist Intelligence Unit (2010) refers to Russia as a hybrid regime rather than a (flawed) democracy. I reversed the coding so that a higher value means that the democratic history is longer. Each of the three police science perspectives I discern is measured by a macro-level indicator. These require other data than those provided by the ESS. The country-level indicator of the procedural justice perspective is the level of corruption in a country. Transparency International (2010a) has been releasing annual reports on perceptions of corruption in a large amount of nations ever since 1993. These reports combine the results of various independent surveys on business people’s opinions and analysts’ perceptions of corruption in the public sector (Transparency International, 2010b), and rate each country on a scale from 1.0 (very corrupt) to 10.0 (not corrupt at all). I reverse this coding so that it measures the presence of corruption rather than absence of corruption. The narrow interpretation of the instrumental perspective of trust in the police is tested through the level of homicide; an indicator of the actual crime rate in a country. Crime rates are notoriously difficult to measure validly and reliably across countries. While homicide rates can be considered the most valid and reliable of crime statistics, Neapolitan (1999) argues that these data are still problematic due to differences in the quality of police registration and to cross-country differences in definitions of homicide. An alternative to police (Interpol) registration of homicide is the European Mortality Database from the World Health Organization (2011). This database contains information on the causes of death in all European countries, including homicide rates per 100.000 citizens, and can be considered more valid because causes of death are registered by doctors. Despite the fact that even these data have their flaws and biases, I consider these WHO data superior to police registrations for three main reasons: first of all, the World Health Organization data are likely to be more complete. Medics are required to register a cause of death for every deceased. The vast majority of homicide cases will also be registered as such: since victims are almost always found and recognized as being murdered, we may assume that the dark number for homicide is small in most European countries8 . The second difference is that doctors are less likely to be affected by possible governmental pressure to keep official crime rates as low as possible than the police, and are thus more independent in their registration of homicide. Finally, we may also expect fewer differences between countries in their definitions of what homicide entails, 8 This holds only for nations without serious territorial conflicts and (civil) wars. In my year of measurement, however, I assume that in my sample of countries no conflict is pervasive enough to cause a substantial bias in mortality registrations.
  32. 32. 31 since medical registrations are not determined by national definitions but by medical, internationally agreed upon, criteria. The proximity policing perspective is difficult to operationalize. Never before has there been an attempt to make a systematic comparison between a large amount of European countries in the extent to which they implemented the principles of proximity policing regardless of the label under which they implement them. There are no systematic data available on the subject. Therefore, an alternative approach is required. In the following section, I attempt to construct a proximity policing index for each of the countries of study. In order to create an index as reliable and valid as possible, I dissect the concept of proximity policing into six main criteria based on the work of Terpstra (2008): 1. To what extent is the police organization in the country centralized? 2. To what extent do proximity – or community – police officers have a central position in the police forces of the country? 3. Do neighbourhoods and local communities in the country usually have their own police station? 4. To what extent do the police in the country have to focus on a broad range of local problems besides crime, such as social disorder and feelings of insecurity among citizens? 5. To what extent do the police in the country consider it important to use not just reactive, but also proactive strategies to prevent crime and disorder? 6. To what extent do the local police in the country cooperate with other local agencies and the public in the management of crime and disorder? Each of these criteria can score from 1 (high degree) to 4 (low degree). In my analyses, I reversed the scores of item 1 so that a score of 1 means for each item that the country adheres to the principles of proximity policing to a larger degree. Moreover, I gave the items 4 through 6 double the weight of the items 1 through 3, since I consider them more essential to the principles of proximity policing. Several means are used to create this index. First of all, I use a unique collection of data on several Eastern European countries. Just before the turn of the century, the European Union held admission negotiations with a set of former communist nations in Eastern and Central Europe. Many criteria had to be fulfilled in order for these countries to join the EU, one of which was the modernization and democratization of the police force. As part of the project to achieve this goal, police officers of these countries attended courses on various subjects taught by police trainers from the EU. The results of these meetings were evaluated and summarized in a series of reports from the
  33. 33. 32 Association of European Police Colleges (AEPC, 2001g). These reports contain much information on the state of policing in Central and Eastern European countries around 1999/2000. For this study, I use reports on training sessions of Bulgarian, Czech, Estonian, Hungarian, Polish and Slovenian police officers. Since the aim is to collect data for around 20 European countries, these project reports are only the start. For three other countries, Belgium, the Netherlands and the German Bundesland of Nordrhein-Westfalen, I have used an expert survey to code the six criteria of proximity policing9 . Finally, the rest of the index is constructed using existing literature on the subject of police structure, culture and daily practice in various countries. Appendix B contains a more in-depth report on the construction of the proximity policing-index. Results of the index are summarized in Table 1, in which the final score (PXP) is the weighted average of the six criteria (PXP1 through PXP6), in which the last three items have double weight. In my analyses, I reversed the coding of this index so that a higher value means that the principles of proximity policing are implemented to a larger degree. 9 Values for the Netherlands were coded by Jan Terpstra, values for Nordrhein-Westfalen by Caroline Liedenbaum, and values for Belgium by Sofie de Kimpe. These researchers are all highly experienced with the daily practice of the respective police forces in these countries, especially when community- or proximity policing are concerned.
  34. 34. 33 Table 1: Index of proximity policing. 1=high degree of PXP, 4=low degree of PXP. PXP PXP1 PXP2 PXP3 PXP4 PXP5 PXP6 Sources Belgium 1,89 2 2 1 1 2 3 Questionnaire Terpstra Bulgaria 3,63 4 3 - 4 4 3 AEPC 2001a Switzerland - 1 - - - - - Wisler & Onwudiwe 2009 Czech Republic 2,38 3 2 - 3 2 2 AEPC 2001b Nordrhein- Westfalen 2,56 2 4 3 2 2 3 Questionnaire Liedenbaum Denmark 1,86 2 3 2 - 2 1 Holmberg 2002, 2005 Estonia 2,88 4 3 - 3 2 3 AEPC 2001c, Hilborn & Leps 2005 Spain 2,25 3 3 - 3 2 1 Rabot 2004 Finland 1,56 2 4 2 1 1 1 Holmberg 2005, Virta 2002 France 3,56 4 3 3 4 4 3 Cassan 2010, Dupont 2007 United Kingdom 1,75 2 2 - 1 2 2 Long & Cullen 2007, Cassan 2010, Mawby 2003 Hungary 3,75 4 4 - 4 3 4 AEPC 2001d, Dimovné 2003 Israel - - - - - - - - Netherlands 2,22 2 2 2 2 2 3 Questionnaire Terpstra Norway 1,44 2 2 1 2 1 1 Larsson 2010, Das & Robinson 2001 Poland 2,00 1 3 2 2 2 2 AEPC 2001e, Haberfeld et al. 2002 Portugal - - - - - - - - Russian Federation 2,89 3 3 2 4 3 2 Beck & Robertson 2009, Roudik 2007, Favarel-Garrigues & Le Huérou 2004 Sweden 2,33 2 2 - 2 3 - Holmberg 2005, Peterson 2010 Slovenia 2,11 3 2 3 1 2 3 AEPC 2001f, Meško et al. 2005 3.3 Micro-level determinants In this section, the three intermediary variables that are relevant to my hypotheses are operationalized: perceived procedural justice (PPJ) and the intermediary variables perceived police effectiveness (PPE) and perceived police prevention successfulness (PPP). Objective measures or indices of police procedural justice are not available. However, we do have information on procedural justice as perceived by citizens. I operationalize the procedural justice perspective through three items in the European Social Survey 2010 special module related to police, security and justice. These items, measured on a four-point scale, ask whether the respondent thinks the police treat citizens respectfully, fairly, and whether they explain their choices and actions to citizens.
  35. 35. 34 Thus, perceived procedural justice is measured on the individual level. Together, these three items cover the procedural justice perspective as formulated by Tyler (1988) almost literally, making this a theoretically exceptionally valid operationalization. However, mere theoretical considerations do not suffice: we need empirical proof that these three items form an acceptable scale, in each and every country included in the European Social Survey. This is an especially important matter since these items are included in the ESS for the first time and their validity as indicators for the latent concept perceived procedural justice (shortened to PPJ) has hardly ever been tested before (Jackson et al., 2011). This, and the fact that procedural justice is one of the central concepts of present study, demands that the most sophisticated method of testing for the validity of the PPJ scale is applied: the use of equivalence tests, which I will address in the next chapter. Aside of the validity of the PPJ scale, I have applied reliability tests for each country. Results were acceptable, with a minimum Cronbach’s alpha of .571 in the German Bundesland of Nordrhein-Westfalen and a maximum of .829 in Bulgaria. I expect the instrumental country-level determinants of corruption and homicide to influence perceived police effectiveness, which I abbreviate to PPE. PPE is operationalized by the item “how successful are the police at catching house burglars in your country?”, measured on a 0-to-10 scale. Although one may argue that asking for one specific type of crime only measures a very small part of perceived police effectiveness, making it a partial coverage measure, I do consider it a reasonably valid operationalization of perceived overall police effectiveness. House burglaries are common in each European country, so that most people have some direct or indirect experience with this type of crime. Besides, house burglaries are a somewhat “average” crime, not too severe yet for their victims still quite serious in their consequences. They are also considered by virtually everyone to be morally wrong. Asking respondents about the police effectiveness in catching house burglars is hence not ambivalently interpretable and a quite straightforward operationalization of perceived police effectiveness in fighting crime and disorder in general. The application of the principles of proximity policing is expected to affect the perceived police prevention successfulness (PPP) of citizens in a country, imperfect a measure as it may be. I use an item on a 0-to-10 scale in the ESS data to measure this perceived prevention successfulness: the question asked to each respondent is to what extent the police are thought to be successful in preventing crimes in which violence is used or threatened with. These three determinants all have some missing values in the ESS. In the vast majority of these cases, respondents answered that they did not know whether they perceived the police to act according to the principles of procedural justice or whether they were effective or successful in preventing crime. I
  36. 36. 35 assume that these respondents have no outspoken opinion on these subjects and hence removed them from further analyses. 3.4 Control variables Control variables on the individual demographic level include gender and age in years, both of which are straightforwardly coded. Education is measured on a 7-point ISCED scale, which I assume to be of interval level. The lowest category contains respondents who have less than secondary education, while the highest category is for those with higher tertiary education. Income is a variable measured on a 1-10 scale, with a relatively large amount of missing values. I adjusted the variable for the average income level of that country so that it measures relative wealth in a country. Missing values were imputed on the basis of the country mean, except for Portugal, where no information on income was available at all. Minority membership is a dichotomous determinant. In Israel, non-response was exceptionally high on this variable. I used the first language of the respondent to establish whether he could be considered a minority member: Arab-speaking respondents who did not answer the minority membership question were coded as minority members, while Hebrew, Russian and Amharic-speaking Israelians were coded as non-minority members when they did not answer the question. After this procedure, I lacked information on ethnicity for only a handful of respondents. Church attendance is measured by the frequency of the respondent’s attendance of religious services in seven categories ranging from every day to never. I treat the attendance scale as being of interval level. Victimization is a dichotomous variable indicating whether a respondent or a household member of the respondent was victim of burglary or assault in the past 5 years or not. Several attitudinal individual determinants were also included. Life satisfaction is coded on an 11-point scale, just like political orientation, where low values indicate low life satisfaction in the former and a left-wing orientation for the latter. I assumed that respondents who indicated not to know their political preference tend neither to the right nor to the left but fall in the middle category. Generalized social trust (GST) is a latent construct consisting of three manifest items on 11-point scales: whether most people can be trusted or one cannot be too careful, whether most people try to take advantage of you or try to be fair, and whether people are helpful most of the time or are mostly looking out for themselves. Since this is not a central variable to my research, I refrained from performing equivalence
  37. 37. 36 tests10 and performed separate factor analyses and reliability tests for each country in the sample instead; results were satisfactory. Practically all items consistently had communalities above 0.2, while their factor loadings were nearly all above 0.411 . Cronbach’s alfa values were satisfactory between .831 and .597. Together, the three manifest items formed an 11-point Likert scale of generalized social trust. Urbanization was measured on a 5-point scale. I reversed the original scale, so that the highest value now means that the respondent lives in a big city, while the lowest implies that he or she lives on the countryside. Table 2 features descriptive data from all included variables. The total amount of missing values – after data manipulations and recoding – is included, as well as the minimum and maximum observed values, the mean of each variable and its standard deviation. Table 2: descriptive table of all included variables N=36,445 Missing Minimum Maximum Mean Standard Dev. gini 0 23.00 45.10 30.78 5.37 democratic history 0 0 4 2.55 1.43 homicide 0 0.30 14.01 1.87 3.08 corruption 0 2.1 9.3 6.73 2.00 proximity policing - 1.50 3.80 2.46 .68 trust in the police 541 0 10 5.74 2.63 gender 2 0 1 .46 .50 age 68 14 99 48.31 18.82 education 84 0 6 2.75 1.88 income 2150 12 0.24 10 5.57 2.53 minority 260 0 1 .07 .25 church attendance 215 0 6 4.60 1.47 victimization 90 0 1 .17 .38 life satisfaction 148 0 10 6.87 2.30 political orientation 664 0 10 5.23 2.08 GST 38 0 10 5.18 1.95 urbanization 66 0 4 1.81 1.24 perc. procedural justice (PPJ) 1104 0 3 1.68 .61 perc. police effectiveness (PPE) 1618 0 10 4.67 2.18 perc. police prevention (PPP) 1506 0 10 5.17 2.02 10 Van der Veld and Saris (2010) tested for European measurement equivalence of generalized social trust, concluding that it is an equivalent concept in most countries. 11 One exception was Spain, where parameters narrowly were below these thresholds. I decided that this violation was so minor that it could be ignored. 12 After mean substitution per country. The missing values left are all respondents from Portugal.
  38. 38. 37 Now that I have dealt with the nature of my data, it is time to start analyses and attempt to answer the research questions as formulated in the introduction of this study. In the next section, I will address the question to what extent trust in the police is empirically comparable across countries. After I have ascertained whether it is justified to compare trust in the police, I will proceed to analyze differences in trust and test which micro- and macro-level determinants affect it.
  39. 39. 38 4 The equivalence of trust in the police 4.1 Three forms of invariance In this section, I address the international measurement equivalence of key variables in my research, predominantly of trust in the police13 . Are we allowed to compare trust in the police in different countries? In order to test this, I compare the relationship of trust in the police and four other types of institutional trust between different countries. Previous research considered items quite similar to the ones I include to measure the concept of institutional trust (Mishler & Rose, 2001; Newton & Norris, 2000). This factor model, in which the five types of trust – which are labeled y1 through y5 – are manifest indicators of the latent construct institutional trust, labeled η1, is illustrated in figure 214 . Drawn are the factor loadings (λ), which indicate how strongly each item reflects the latent factor institutional trust, and the error terms of the indicators (ε). Additionally, the intercepts of the observed indicators (τ) and of the factor (α) are included. The intercepts reflect the point of reference of the manifest indicators and latent factor. Figure 2: theoretical factor structure of institutional trust 13 In this study I address the problem of measurement equivalence, concerning the equivalence of the relationship between manifest indicators and their latent construct. This contrasts with structural equivalence, which concerns the equivalence of relationships between constructs across groups (Van de Vijver, 2011). 14 The five types of trust or indicators are trust in the police (y1), trust in the legal system (y2), trust in parliament (y3), trust in politicians (y4) and trust in political parties (y5). The questions are all asked in the same fashion, without particular specifications towards, for example, elements of the legal systems such as judges or laws.
  40. 40. 39 If we wish to compare trust in the police across nations, it is necessary to test whether the factor structure in Figure 2, and more specifically, the position of the observed indicator trust in the police (y1) in that factor structure, is equal in each country. In order to do so, we need to conduct a special kind of factor analysis: a multi-group confirmatory factor analysis. This type of analysis, focusing on measurement equivalence, tests not only whether a previously determined factor structure such as depicted in Figure 2 holds, but it also does so for every country, comparing them with one another. This factor structure can be described as: 1) yk (n) = τk (n) + λk (n) η(n) + εk (n) In Equation 1, y is the value of the observed or manifest indicator, while subscript k refers to the specific indicator (in this case, k can take values from 1 to 5 since there are five observed indicators) and superscript n to the different groups. The groups are, in this context, countries. y is a function of the indicator intercept τ, the factor loading λ multiplied by the value of the latent construct η, and an error component ε which is assumed to be randomly distributed: its mean is zero and there are no correlated errors with other indicators (Van der Veld & Saris, 2011). In establishing measurement equivalence, three key requirements must be met: configural invariance, metric invariance and scalar invariance (Vandenberg & Lance, 2000; De Beuckelaer & Lievens, 2009; Van der Veld & Saris, 2011). Of these types of invariance, configural invariance is the least stringent, while scalar invariance is the strictest. Configural and metric invariance need to be reached if we wish to compare relationships between variables, while we also require scalar invariance once we aim to compare indicator and construct means. Configural invariance addresses the matter whether the factor structure holds across all countries. Does each of the observed indicators load on the latent construct, and are there no correlated error terms between the different indicators? If configural invariance is reached, respondents in different countries have similar frames of reference and the basic threshold of measurement equivalence has been passed. The indicators measure what they should measure and the factor structure of Equation 1 holds for each country. When configural invariance has been found, we can say that a construct consists of the same elements (indicators) in each group, and it is justified to compare factor loadings across groups. If configural invariance cannot be found, we may aim for partial configural
  41. 41. 40 invariance; we then release parameters that are not equivalent across countries. This way, we can proceed to higher forms of invariance controlling for flaws in configural invariance. The next step is to test for metric invariance: do the indicators have equal factor loadings on the latent construct in each country? This tests whether the indicator represents the latent construct equally well in each country. If we concentrate on trust in the police, the question is: is trust in the police an equally strong element of institutional trust in each country? Or, in other words: is factor loading λ1 equivalent across countries? The equation for metric equivalence is: 2) λk (1) = λk (2) = … = λk (n) Once metric invariance is found, or at the very least after we have achieved partial metric invariance by releasing non-invariant parameters, it is justified to compare relationships between trust in the police and other variables between countries. However, it is not yet justified to compare the mean levels of trust in the police across countries, which is after all the first of my research questions. In order to answer this question, we also need to reach the third level of measurement equivalence: scalar invariance. Scalar invariance implies that indicators in each country not only have the same metric, but also the same point of reference. The indicator intercepts τ should be identical across countries. After all, only when one’s point of reference is the same can one compare means between groups. If full scalar invariance is not found, we need to establish partial scalar invariance by releasing non-invariant indicator intercepts. The equation is: 3) τk (1) = τk (2) = … = τk (n) In order to test for aforementioned three stages of measurement equivalence, I analyze data from the European Social Survey 2010 using the statistical package LISREL 8.80 (Jöreskog & Sörbom, 1996) and the auxiliary program Judgment Rule 3.0.4 (Van der Veld & Saris, 2011). LISREL has specifically been constructed for problems that can be solved through structural equation modeling (SEM), for which tests for measurement equivalence are well-suited. The Judgment Rule program is intended to simplify the analysis of LISREL output, which can otherwise be extremely tiresome when as many as 20 countries are compared. LISREL can provide maximum likelihood estimates of each parameter present in Figure 2