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Constructing Public Confidence: A Chronology of the Research Agenda

  • Elizabeth R. Turner
Chapter
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Part of the Critical Criminological Perspectives book series (CCRP)

Abstract

Turner describes the emergence and development of the public confidence research agenda. During the 1970s and 1980s, researchers criticised general measures of public opinion, and proposed the use of specific scenario-based questions in order to gauge opinions about appropriate sentencing practice. However, some researchers suggested that specific measures were artificial, and only general measures could capture ‘real life’. During the early 2000s, a dominant understanding of public confidence emerged, which saw it as a real and measurable phenomenon, pre-existing research, and with identifiable causes. Survey-based approaches were promoted as the only way to measure true confidence. These approaches are aggregative and general, premised on an atomised, passive conception of the citizen (or AGAP). Recalling the doubts about the AGAP approach expressed in the 1970s and 1980s, Turner challenges this dominant view. She argues that proponents of AGAP approaches misrepresent a value-based decision about how to know about confidence.

Keywords

Penal populism Public opinion Public confidence in criminal justice British Crime Survey New Labour Performance measurement Quasi-experimental research 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elizabeth R. Turner
    • 1
  1. 1.University of LiverpoolLiverpoolUK

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