Fairness at workplace improves police professionalism – Dr. Tankebe

The making of ‘democracy’s champions’: Understanding police support for democracy in Ghana

  1. Justice Tankebe

  1. University of Cambridge, UK
  1. Justice Tankebe, Institute of Criminology, University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge CB3 9DA, UK. Email: [email protected]


Marks and Fleming (2006: 178–179) have conjectured that ‘if we are to expect the police to behave democratically, it is important for the police themselves to experience democratic engagement within the organisations in which they work’. This article tests their conjecture, using data from a survey of frontline officers in Ghana. In particular, it explores whether police support for, and satisfaction with, democracy and police commitment to procedural justice in police–public encounters are driven by experiences of organizational distributive justice and procedural justice. The findings show strong support for democracy and for procedural justice in police–public encounters, but they also indicate dissatisfaction with ‘the way democracy works’. Further analyses suggest that assessments of distributive justice and procedural justice within the Ghanaian police service are the main drivers of support for democracy, satisfaction with democracy and commitment to procedural justice in police–public encounters. The findings thus lend support to the Marks–Fleming conjecture. It was also found that satisfaction with personal financial circumstance undermines commitment to procedural justice in police–public encounters.